Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul candidate Ekrem Imamoglu on Wednesday campaigned in Istanbul’s Asian districts of Maltepe, Pendik and Tuzla ahead of the city’s June 24 mayoral revote.
Thousands came out in support of the opposition candidate, who defeated the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) opponent Binali Yıldırım by a narrow margin in the March 31 local elections.
The city of 16 million, where the secularist opposition candidate Imamoglu’s victory on March 31 appeared to have ended 25 years of Islamist rule, is set for a redo next month, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party appealed the polls.
In his speeches, Imamoglu vowed to end partisanship, which he said, had permeated the city’s municipality, while reiterating his promise of employment opportunities for the city’s residents.
The CHP candidate underlined the extravagance and wastefulness of the municipality run by the Islamist party and its predecessor for over two decades.
The expenditures of AKP municipalities have come under the spotlight and drawn criticism after the Islamist party lost five of Turkey’s most populous provinces to the main opposition CHP in the March 31 local elections.
Reports by critical news outlets have focused on exorbitant amounts of municipal funds funneled to conservative Istanbul-based foundations run by the Turkish president’s family members and inner circle.
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