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Ekrem Imamoglu becomes Istanbul mayor after rerun polls
Ekrem Imamoglu becomes Istanbul mayor after rerun polls

ISTANBUL

Istanbul’s mayor on Thursday got a certificate of election for the second time this year, after a do-over election in which he won a comfortable margin of victory.

After nationwide local polls on March 31, and Ekrem Imamoglu got his first certificate of election, Turkey’s election authority cancelled the results, citing irregularities and illegalities.

Then in a June 23 do-over poll, Imamoglu, of the Republican People's Party (CHP), won 54.21% of the votes, leading ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party candidate Binali Yildirim to concede the race.

Turkey's election authority certified the results of the new race on this Tuesday.

The certificate puts Imamoglu in the top post of the city of Istanbul, a megalopolis of some 16 million people, and Turkey's financial capital.

Speaking to reporters, Imamoglu said, “Istanbul is the largest city both in Turkey and Europe" and thanked all "the democracy soldiers who helped the will of the [Turkish] people be revealed."

Later, Imamoglu headed to the municipality building in the Fatih district to take over the office from Ali Yerlikaya, the governor of the Istanbul province who has served as acting mayor. 

Gender equality

Imamoglu said he received the certificate from a delegation consisting mostly of women, adding that this was a sign that his term as mayor will be characterized by gender equality.  

"I will be honored to carry this message as the mayor of Istanbul, and I would like to share it as my first day message," he said.

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