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The center-left CHP party has emerged victorious in the city parliaments of Istanbul and Ankara, two days after the opposition’s surprise win in Turkey’s mayoral elections. Preliminary figures suggest that the CHP has replaced the AKP as the strongest force in both representations, as confirmed by a member of the electoral authority.

The CHP had previously won the mayoral positions in both cities in the 2019 local elections but did not secure a majority in the city parliaments. Mayors Ekrem Imamoğlu in Istanbul and Mansur Yavas in Ankara had complained about being blocked by the majority of the Islamic conservative AKP, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referring to them as “lame ducks.”

The loss of power for the AKP in these municipalities could have implications for governance and development of these cities. Imamoğlu faced hindrances in obtaining loans for his projects and delays in construction projects due to obstructions from city parliament, while Yavas accused parliament of impeding expansion of sewage treatment plant. Both politicians blamed central government for politically motivated blockades, citing delays approval of metro projects and cutting off funds for municipalities.

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