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This system that overrules the will of the people and disregards the law is neither democratic, nor legitimate,” he wrote.

And in a speech broadcast on social media, Mr Imamoglu condemned the electoral board, saying they were influenced by the ruling party.

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“We will never compromise on our principles,” he told the crowd. “This country is filled with 82 million patriots who will fight… until the last moment for democracy

A supporters’ group for Mr Imamoglu urged restraint, saying: “Let’s stand together, let’s be calm… We will win, we will win again.”

What is the background?

Municipal elections took place across Turkey on 31 March and were seen as a referendum on Mr Erdogan’s leadership amid a sharp economic downturn.

Although an AKP Party-led alliance won 51% of the vote nationwide, the secularist CHP claimed victory in the capital Ankara, Izmir, and in Istanbul – where Mr Erdogan had once been mayor.

In Istanbul, more than 8 million votes were cast and Mr Imamoglu was eventually declared the winner by a margin of less than 14,000.

The ruling party has since challenged the results in Ankara and Istanbul, which has prompted opposition accusations that they are trying to steal the election…Continue Reading

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