The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is ready to start to its election campaign for Istanbul's municipal mayoral elections scheduled to be held on June 23. The party's main target in the campaigning period is expected to focus on urging people to convince their neighbors to support the party.
The party is expected to concentrate on its election campaign following Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr. As Parliament is also on break, all the parliamentarians from the party will be in Istanbul to contribute to the campaign, actively working on the ground. The main activity on the ground, however, is for each neighborhood representative to reach out to his or her neighbors and convince them to participate in the elections. Besides for this, neighbors who previously voted for the AK Party but in the latest elections changed their minds will be another target as the representatives will attempt to convince their neighbors to vote for the party. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also expected to be active on the ground himself.
The Supreme Election Council (YSK) decided to annul the March 31 mayoral elections in Istanbul due to irregularities and unlawfulness. The YSK's decision for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections came down to a vote of four members against and seven in favor on May 6. The renewed election will be held on June 23. The mayoral elections in Istanbul witnessed a very close race between the People's Alliance's candidate, the AK Party's Binali Yıldırım, and the Nation Alliance candidate of the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP), Ekrem İmamoğlu.
Elections in Istanbul saw İmamoğlu being awarded the certificate of election with only a 13,729-vote difference. The decision was followed by lengthy discussions and objections by parties demanding a do-over election due to irregularities and unlawfulness. Yıldırım is expected to explain what his projects for Istanbul are and why the elections had been cancelled in the first place, expressing that his votes were stolen and that he had been wronged during this process. Meanwhile, the definite candidate lists for the Istanbul Municipality mayoral elections were revealed yesterday. According to the list, apart from the AK Party, the CHP, the Felicity Party (SP) and Motherland Party (VP) candidates, there will also be 17 other independent candidates.