Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has congratulated Ekrem Imamoglu, the main opposition party mayor-elect for receiving the official mandate to be the Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor.
This is despite partial and full vote recounts in a number of districts during the 17 days following the polls.
The HDP posted a congratulatory message on its official Twitter account after Imamoglu was given the mayoral mandate by the provincial electoral board on Wednesday.
“We congratulate [Istanbul] Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu. Sooner or later, we will win our struggle for democracy and the law that we have maintained across the country,” HDP said in the message.
The pro-Kurdish opposition also referred to the vote recounts in Istanbul that it regards as unlawful.
“Some of the unlawfulness by the AK Party (AKP) that has been going on for 17 days with the aim of usurping people’s will has come to an end. Istanbul got what was lawfully theirs to have,” the message also stated.
Another congratulatory remark came from the HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan, who wished outstanding success to Imamoglu in a tweet she posted on her official account.
Filiz Kerestecioglu, HDP’s Ankara MP, also tweeted: “Dear Istanbul, I hope, after all these years, that you live in the way that you deserve by right.”
The pro-Kurdish party did not run mayoral candidates in major cities during the local election on March 31, playing a significant role in the AKP government’s defeat in those cities.
The HDP sat out the mayoral races in big cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, Adana and the capital city Ankara as part of its political strategy in Turkey’s west, proving its political presence and weight through absence from the ballots.
The party also urged its supporters to cast strategic votes for the Nation Alliance formed by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and nationalist opposition IYI (Good) Party.
The vote difference between CHP’s Imamoglu and his rival Binali Yildirim from AKP was around 28,000, according to initial results.
After the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) accepted some of AKP’s objections to the results, partial or full vote recounts took place in districts across Istanbul. The vote difference between the candidates decreased to 13,900 following a recount of around 10 percent of the votes cast as part of the race in Istanbul.