Imam Oglu is preparing "a new beginning" and reaching out to work with Erdogan News -

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Turkish opposition candidate Akram Emamoglu on Sunday (23 June 2019) thanked voters in Istanbul for protecting what he called the "tradition of democracy" for more than a century in a victory speech after his opponent conceded defeat. Emamoglu said his victory in the Istanbul municipal elections was "a new beginning for Turkey."

"This election means opening a new page, it is a new beginning," Emamoglu told reporters after he slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by beating his candidate Ben Ali Yildirim. "It is not a single group or party, but all of Istanbul and Turkey won this election."

"Mr. President, I am ready to work with you in full coordination," said Imam Oglu, addressing Erdogan. "I will work hard without discrimination against anyone," he said. "Everything will be fine," he said.

The Turkish president's response, congratulating Erdoğan Emamoglu in a tweet on Twitter, congratulated him on winning the presidency of the Istanbul municipality, which would mean his acceptance of the result after the cancellation of previous elections held at the end of March. "I congratulate Akram Emamoglu, who won the election according to the unofficial results," Erdogan wrote on Twitter.

On Sunday, Ben Ali Yildirim, a member of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), congratulated Imam Oglu on his victory in the run-off to the Istanbul election, while votes are still being counted. "As of now, Akram Emamoglu's rivals are leading the vote counting, I congratulate him and wish him success," Yildirim said in televised brief remarks.

"Elections mean democracy, these elections have proved once again that democracy works flawlessly in Turkey," he said.

	Kommunalwahlen in der Türkei | Binali Yildirim (Reuters / K. Aslan)

Ben Ali Yildirim, a candidate for the ruling party, acknowledged his defeat and congratulated his rival Akram Emamoglu.

Yildirim, 63, was defeated by Akram Emamoglu, 49, of the opposition Republican People's Party, in the first round of elections on 31 March. However, the Supreme Electoral Council canceled the election results on May 6, in line with a request by the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who alleged irregularities and ordered the re-election.

With 99% of the vote counted, Emam Oglu won 54% against Ben Ali Yildirim, who won 45.1%. Making more than 775,000 votes, up sharply from March, when he won only 13,000.

(AFP)

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