According to unofficial results, the Republican People's Party candidate received just over 54 percent of the votes in Sunday's redo of the mayoral election, while Justice and Development (AK) Party's Binali Yildirim took just above 45 percent.

CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu addresses his supporters from on top of the party bus in Beylikduzu after unofficial results declared him winner in Istanbul's mayoral election rerun. June 23, 2019.
CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu addresses his supporters from on top of the party bus in Beylikduzu after unofficial results declared him winner in Istanbul's mayoral election rerun. June 23, 2019. (AA)

Turkey’s opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won the Istanbul mayoral rerun election, according to unofficial results after all ballots were counted. 

Republican People's Party's (CHP) Imamoglu received 54.21 percent votes. Governing Justice and Development (AK) Party's candidate Binali Yildirim received 44.99 percent.

With a lead of more than 777,580 votes, Imamoglu secured more than 4.7 million votes and Yildirim bagged nearly 4 million votes.

In an emotional speech, Imamoglu thanked Istanbulites for “protecting Turkey's century-old democratic tradition”.

He said the outcome of the election is not a “victory”, but a “new beginning” for the city.

"We came to embrace everyone," Imamoglu said later in Belikduzu. "We will embrace Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Jews and everyone in this city," he said.

"We will build democracy in this city, we will build justice. In this beautiful city, I promise, we will build the future."

Yildirim congratulated his opponent after initial results showed the CHP candidate had a solid lead.

“I congratulate him and wish him success [in his post]. The results have shown Turkey’s democracy has functioned in an excellent manner,” Yildirim said in a televised address.

“We will try to support him in every work he will do, on behalf of Istanbulites,” he added. 

Lira firms overnight

The Turkish lira strengthened overnight after the announcement of the repeat election's unofficial results.

The lira firmed to 5.72 overnight after the outcome emerged, rallying from a close of 5.8140 on Friday. The currency stood at 5.7450 at 0613 GMT.

One banker said the outcome had removed a source of political uncertainty.

Turkey's benchmark stock index started the week up 2.15% or 2,017.22 points to open at 96,039.50 points on Monday.

On Friday, Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index fell 0.14% to close the week at 94,022.28 points with a daily trading volume of $1 billion.

Erdogan congratulates Imamoglu

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Imamoglu as unofficial results suggested a convincing win for the CHP candidate.

"The national will has appeared once again today. I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu, who has won the election, according to unofficial results," Erdogan said in a Twitter post.

Sadi Guven, head of the Supreme Election Council (YSK), said the official results of the Istanbul do-over will be announced soon. 

"Around 65 percent of ballots, or 19,910 ballot boxes, have been officially screened in our system," Guven said.

"A total of 10,560,963 voters cast their votes in 31,342 ballot boxes, including the ones in prisons and portable ballot boxes," he said.

He said the council will issue the certificate of election to the winning candidate following completion of the appeal process.

Imamoglu and Yildirim vied to run the metropolitan municipality of Turkey's most populous city after a previous vote on March 31 was annulled by the country's top election council last month.

In the Beylikduzu district speech, the mayor-elect also thanked AK party's candidate Yildirim and  Erdogan for their congratulatory messages. 

Imamoglu vowed to end partisanship. 

"We will work a lot for Istanbul starting tomorrow," he said.

Source: AA