Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Shawwal 3, 1445 H
overcast clouds
weather
OMAN
30°C / 30°C
EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Erdogan vows to make amends after election loss

Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) supporters celebrate outside the main municipality building following municipal elections across Türkiye, in Istanbul. — AFP
Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) supporters celebrate outside the main municipality building following municipal elections across Türkiye, in Istanbul. — AFP
minus
plus

ISTANBUL: President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Monday to correct any mistakes that led to his party's defeat in Türkiye's local elections where the opposition capitalised on economic woes and alienated voters.


Sunday's vote marked Erdogan and his AK Party's (AKP) worst defeat in more than 20 years in power, revitalising the opposition party and strengthening Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu's standing as the president's main rival.


Redrawing a political map long dominated by the AKP, the Republican People's Party (CHP) won the popular vote for the first time in decades and swept most of the main cities, penetrating far into conservative central Türkiye.


Analysts said voters lost patience with both a cost-of-living crisis driven by near 70% inflation and political style.


The result bruised hopes of adopting a new constitution, which could potentially extend Erdogan's rule beyond 2028 when his term ends, they said. Though AKP and its allies have a majority in parliament, Erdogan would need broader support or a successful referendum for a new constitution.


Erdogan delivered a speech in the early hours of Monday. "This is not an end for us, but actually a turning point," he said, acknowledging a "loss of altitude" for the AKP.


"If we made a mistake, we will fix it," he told crowds gathered at AKP headquarters in Ankara, without indicating what changes he might make within his party or in policy.


In response, Turkish stocks rose and the lira - which has shed more than 80% of its value in five years - touched another record low versus the dollar on a holiday for many world financial markets.


Erdogan made a U-turn in economic policy after his triumph in a national election last year, resulting in interest rate hikes to rein in inflation expectations that soared under his years-long unorthodox policy stance.


Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Monday the belt-tightening programme would carry on.


But AKP election candidates were thumped in the cities of Istanbul and Ankara and even in deeply pro-Erdogan strongholds like Bursa, Afyonkarahisar and Adiyaman provinces.


"I think it's mainly about the economy and in particular the inflation...story," said Wolfango Piccoli, co-president of political risk consultancy Teneo.


New Welfare benefited by taking an even more hardline stance than Erdogan against Israel over the Gaza conflict, which helped draw pious voters away from the Islamist-rooted AKP, analysts said. — Reuters


SHARE ARTICLE
arrow up
home icon