Turkey’s main opposition launches campaign for new Istanbul election

Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayoral candidate for Turkey’s main opposition party, on Wednesday officially launched his new campaign for the re-run of the election in Istanbul on June 23.

“Against all odds, we do not want to lose our faith in the law, democracy and elections in this country,” Imamoglu said at his party’s coordination meeting in Istanbul.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkey’s main opposition party, decided to run a more comprehensive campaign with the participation of its lawmakers and newly elected mayors across the country, who were called to Istanbul to speak to the electorate and persuade them to go to the polls again.

Addressing party members, Imamoglu said, “there is no other remedy than going to the polls in this country.”

Rather than holding mass rallies, Imamoglu is planning to hold face-to-face meetings with voters and explain to them his projects, policies and how he is going to serve all the 16 million residents in the city in an equal way.

Turkey held local elections on March 31, in which the CHP’s mayoral candidates won in the largest cities, including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya.

The Supreme Election Council annulled the result of the Istanbul election and ordered a fresh one in the city over petitions by the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Last week, the CHP secured all the ballot boxes in Istanbul’s 39 districts by having at least one lawyer for each of the 31,186 ballot boxes to prevent any possible “wrongdoing” during the upcoming voting and counting processes.

“We have to fulfill this process in the best possible way,” Imamoglu stressed, noting he wants to go back to the office and start to work as soon as possible.