Istanbul’s mayoral election re-run will only make Erdogan weaker

Source:The Independent Date:23May2019

Thus, a simple election for mayor of Turkey’s largest city has become a political and social battle of gargantuan proportions. The next 50 days not only threaten to further the divide the country and generate social chaos at a time of economic crisis and austerity, but also pose an obstacle to Erdogan’s party itself, with some supporters acknowledging the transparently bad sportsmanship of the AKP and openly backing the opposition, and others criticising the decision of the High Election Commission (YSK) to cancel the vote on a technicality.

“For the first time and probably the last time in my life I will vote for the CHP’s candidate,” wrote Omer Turan, a pro-government journalist. “I will support Imamoglu this election.”

“There is no concrete evidence to cancel the election,” wrote scholar Cemile Bayraktar. “The decision is problematic. It hurts AKP, YSK and Turkey.”

Even the country’s top business association, TUSIAD, a pillar of the AKP’s support, criticised the rerunning of the election as a perilous distraction from the first priority of most Turks: restoring an economy battered by inflation, soaring foreign debt payments, unemployment, and a falling currency.