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Opposition aims to curb Erdogan’s powers after election rout

The government’s debacle in local polls in Istanbul and most of Turkey’s other big cities has set the stage for a new power struggle in which the opposition appears bent on trimming Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers. The president, in turn, seeks to debilitate the newly elected opposition mayors.
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The outcome of the June 23 mayoral race in Istanbul marks a turning point in Turkish politics. The opposition’s Ekrem Imamoglu — a little-known district mayor until several months ago — put an end to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election invincibility, trashing his candidate — former Prime Minister and parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim — in a momentous election rerun.

Under pressure from the government, the Supreme Electoral Council overrode its own precedent judgments to scrap Imamoglu’s original win in the March 31 local polls in which the candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had a tiny margin of some 13,700 votes.

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