Turkish opposition will not boycott Istanbul election rerun

Al-monitor notes that Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said it would participate in a controversial rerun of the Istanbul municipal elections following a meeting of its central committee today.

Ekrem Imamoglu, the CHP candidate whose slim victory in the March 31 polls was overturned by the Supreme Electoral Commission (YSK) yesterday, projected calm, saying, “A huge blow has been dealt to our democracy. We must repair and heal this [wound] together.” Imamoglu repeated what has now become a rallying cry for the opposition, “Everything is going to be all right.”

But few analysts share his optimism, saying yesterday’s decision effectively pulled the plug on a democracy that has long been on life support. Sinem Adar summed up their sentiments in a series of tweets: “The decision to rerun Istanbul elections undoubtedly shows that the ruling regime has reached its limits, meaning that it will only get more violent and suppressive. And yes, it will eventually collapse.”

Adar cautioned, “But make no mistake — its collapse does not automatically imply institutional repair. As we do not know how soon that would be and more importantly who/what would replace it.”

It’s not just Turkey’s institutions that are collapsing. The country’s battered currency took a further plunge following the news of a redo, hitting a seven-month low at 6.1944 to the dollar in morning trade.

source: al-monitor