Turkey’s President Erdogan suffers historic defeat in local elections

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Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan suffered a historic electoral defeat against the main opposition party amid rising inflation and the highest borrowing prices since the president assumed office more than two decades ago.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Turkey’s lira weakened in early trading on Monday after Erdogan’s AK Party fell behind the main opposition Republican People’s Party, known as CHP, in Sunday’s municipal elections for the first time ever.

Erdogan conceded defeat in an address to his supporters in front of the AKP headquarters in Ankara, promising “self-criticism” and “respect” for the outcome.

Ekrem Imamoglu, Istanbul mayor and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate, takes off his tie from atop a campaign bus while claiming victory. Getty
Ekrem Imamoglu, Istanbul mayor and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate, claiming victory. Photo: Getty images.

“The March 31 elections mark a turning point. We weren’t able to get the results in local elections that we were hoping for,” Erdogan said, promising to recover support by the next presidential vote in 2028.

“Voters appear to have punished his party and candidates for economic hardships at the municipal elections,” Emre Peker, Europe director for Eurasia Group, said of the president.

“Erdogan is no longer immune to voter concerns over the economy, which he most recently sidestepped in May 2023 to secure reelection.”

Source: Australian Financial Review

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