Istanbul is gearing up for a rerun of March’s mayoral contest this weekend, a vote that could have far-reaching implications for democracy and the rule of law in Turkey.
Turkey’s electoral board upheld a complaint by the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) over counting irregularities in the 31 March vote, which was won by an opposition candidate, Ekrem İmamoglu, in one of the biggest challenges to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s grip on the country in his 16 years as leader.
Al Jazeera disclosed that Istanbul’s residents have been to the polls 13 times since 2002 in general elections, local elections and referenda, and on Sunday they will go again.
According to Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Programme at The Washington Institute, the mayoral rerun is an historic turning point in the country.
Cagaptay said never before in the history of Turkey since it became a multiparty democracy in 1950 had the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) reversed a major election outcome.
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