Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, lost in a big way in the weekend’s local
elections, results that had many suggesting that President Erdogan’s
attempt to make local voting a referendum on his rule a strategic error.
The AKP, however, is spinning the losses as simple “mistakes,” and with major losses in the big cities of Istanbul and Ankara, the results are being presented as temporary, with AKP fully expecting to appeal enough to get handed those cities in court
Appeals are expected in every distinct of the capital city, as well as in much of Istanbul, where the loss came down to an estimated 0.28 percentage points. Officials see any recounts or appeals as virtually certain to benefit the incumbent party.
With turnouts well above 80%, this was clearly a major election for Turkey, where Erdogan has increased his own powers while severely limiting the parliament, and local officials. The votes saw the AKP winning a narrow majority nationwide, but the opposition CHP scoring big in the large cities, and the pro-Kurdish HDP virtually sweeping Kurdistan.
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