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Istanbul mayoral front-runner retains lead during recount

Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition candidate for mayor, says it’s impossible for his opponent to overtake him, but supporters of the ruling party’s Binali Yildirim say their man will win if the recount is expanded.
Ekrem Imamoglu, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate for mayor of Istanbul, greets his supporters in Istanbul, Turkey April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir - RC14DDA83790

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s biggest city remained on tenterhooks on Thursday as a recount of votes in a contentious mayoral election entered its third day, with the opposition candidate arguing that his winning margin remained too wide for the ruling party's candidate to overcome.

Ekrem Imamoglu, a former district mayor who ran as a unity candidate on the Republican People’s Party (CHP) ticket, is ahead by 0.2% of the vote in Istanbul, where more than 8.5 million votes were cast, according to preliminary results, putting him on the cusp of a huge upset against the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has controlled the municipality for 25 years.

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