Trkiye's opposition takes election lead in key cities

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan casts his vote in Istanbul, Türkiye, March 31, 2024. [Xinhua]

Türkiye's main opposition, the Republican People's Party (CHP), led in local elections in key cities, including the country's largest city Istanbul and the capital Ankara, on Sunday, with over 51 percent of the votes, local NTV broadcaster reported, citing initial results.

Turkish Supreme Election Council Chairman Ahmet Yener said 51.2 percent of the total votes were counted and the vote count is still ongoing.

After 79 percent of ballot boxes in Istanbul opened, the incumbent mayor Ekrem Imamoglu representing the CHP garnered 50.53 percent of the votes, while Murat Kurum, the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), got 40.72 percent.

The CHP is also poised to retain its control of the capital Ankara as well, as the incumbent mayor Mansur Yavas from the CHP has kept his post, with 58.98 percent of the votes, against the AKP candidate Turgut Altinok, who got 32.9 percent.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party lost control of both cities in the last local elections in 2019. In May last year, Erdogan was reelected as president and his alliance secured a majority of seats in the parliament.