03/04/2024 strategic-culture.su  3 min 🇬🇧 #246119

Turquie : revers retentissant pour le parti au pouvoir, battu aux élections municipales

Turkey: Erdogan's party loses local elections in major upset

Istanbul Mayor-Elect Ekrem Imamoglu said result "marks the end of democratic erosion in Turkey and the resurgence of democracy."

By Zoltán KOTTÁSZ

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) have suffered their worst electoral defeat to date, as the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) made significant gains in local elections on Sunday, March 31st. The CHP, a secularist party founded in 1923 by the republic's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, took 35 of Turkey's 81 provincial capitals and gained 37.8% of all votes, compared to just 24 provinces and 35.5% for the nationalist AKP. In Istanbul, Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu of the CHP  won by almost 12 percentage points. In the capital Ankara, Mayor Mansur Yavaş (CHP) beat his rival by 19 percentage points.

🇹🇷#Turkey, local elections results (Nationwide):
Here is the map of the local elections.
The Republican People's Party (CHP) won the nationwide popular vote and most of the provinces for the 1st time since 1977.
This is the worst result ever for the AKP of President Erdogan.

The opposition's success comes despite Erdogan's victory in last year's presidential and parliamentary  elections, in which the opposition parties ran on a united platform. This was Erdogan's first major defeat since becoming prime minister in 2003, and then head of state in 2014. The opposition's gains were even more resounding compared to the local elections five years ago when they caused an upset by claiming the top mayoral prize in major cities.

Commentators have pointed to the poor economic performance, the weakening currency, and soaring inflation as the main reasons for Sunday's result. Turkey's annual inflation rate  climbed to 67% in February. Many Turkish households have been struggling to afford basic goods. "There were cross-party shifts in the vote, which did not happen in the national elections because of stronger ideological attachments. This time around the economy prevailed over identity," Sinan Ülgen, director of the Istanbul-based Edam think tank  told AP.

In his post-election speech, the president admitted the country had come to a "turning point," and said, "If we made a mistake, we will fix it, if we have anything missing, we will complete it." Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously indicated this would be the last time he participates in an election, vowing to stand down as president in 2028.

Meanwhile, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu of the CHP is seen as a potential opposition candidate for president. In his victory speech, he said, "Those who do not understand the nation's message will eventually lose." The vote, he  added, "marks the end of democratic erosion in Turkey and the resurgence of democracy." Mert Arslanalp, assistant professor of political science at Istanbul's Bogazici University  told Reuters that Imamoglu demonstrated he could reach across the deep socio-political divisions that define Turkey's opposition electorate even without their institutional support.

Today marks a pivotal moment not just for #Istanbul, but for #democracy itself. As we celebrate our victory, we send a resounding message to the world: the decline of democracy ends now. Istanbul stands as a beacon of hope, a testament to the resilience of democratic values in…

The Islamist, conservative, anti-LGBT New Welfare Party (YRP), formed less than six years ago, gained more than 6% of the total votes on Sunday, and may also have attracted votes from AKP supporters, who have been disillusioned with the government's handling of the economy.

Original article:  The European Conservative

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