What next for Turkey's battered economy after Erdogan's political setback?

What next for Turkey's battered economy after Erdogan's political setback?

What next for Turkey's battered economy after Erdogan's political setback?

"Thank you, Istanbul", former businessman and district mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, 49, said in a televised speech after unofficial results showed he won a clear majority of the vote. Imamoglu increased his lead from a March mayoral election by hundreds of thousands of votes, which made any attempt by the governing party to refute his victory increasingly unlikely.

A total of 777,581 votes separated the candidates, vastly outnumbering the 13,729-vote gap between them in the initial election on March 31. The Islamic-leaning ruling party challenged the first vote over alleged irregularities, and Turkey's electoral board nullified the results.

The voided vote in Istanbul had raised concerns domestically and overseas about the state of Turkish democracy and whether Erdogan's party, which has been in control of the Turkish government since 2002, would accept any electoral loss.

"Although there are elections, the landscape is so heavily manipulated to advantage Erdogan and his party", Dr Gumus told the ABC.

"The victory of Ekrem Imamoglu.is the most serious setback for Erdogan since his Justice and Development Party first took office in November 2002 and will further fuel the already growing sense amongst both his opponents and many members of his own party that his career is now in irreversible decline".

Jubilant supporters chanted "Mayor again!" Major thoroughfares were packed with cars honking their horns, passengers hanging out of windows and waving Turkish flags through sunroofs.

Erdogan rose to prominence as the mayor of Istanbul in the mid-1990s and dominated national politics following a 2001 financial crisis that wiped out much of the political establishment.

After the opposition's success in Istanbul, many suggested that the government may call early presidential and parliamentary elections - now due in 2023 - to bolster its support after such a serious blow to its prestige, possibly as soon as this year.

AKP also lost control of the capital city of Ankara in Turkey's March local elections, which were held as the country faced an economic downturn, battled high inflation and two credit rating downgrades in the past year. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

On Sunday and in the early hours Monday, tens of thousands of Imamoglu supporters celebrated in the streets of Istanbul after the former businessman triumphed over Erdogan's hand-picked candidate by nearly 800,000 votes.

Analysts say the result would increase pressure on Erdogan's government, which is grappling with a shaky economy and multiple worldwide crises.

Turkey's main opposition claimed a decisive victory yesterrday in Istanbul's re-run election, dealing one of the biggest blows to President Tayyip Erdogan during his 16 years in power and promising a new beginning in the country's largest city.

"He had a very inclusive narrative, very opposite to this populist, fearmongering, and divisive or polarising narrative that the AKP Government and their allies ... ran against him", Tezcan Gumus, a lecturer in Turkish politics at the University of Melbourne, said.

"God willing, I would like to see (Imamoglu) as the president in five years' time", she said. The president has previously signaled an unwillingness to do so.

Yildirim, Turkey's former prime minister, conceded the race on Sunday, pledging to try to help Imamoglu with "everything he will do to the benefit of Istanbulites".

Winning Istanbul was not just about prestige - the city's GDP accounts for more than 30 per cent of the country's economy.

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