June 23, 2019 / 4:36 PM / 23 days ago

Turkey's AK Party candidate says opposition leading Istanbul vote count

Ekrem Imamoglu, mayoral candidate of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), speaks next to his wife Dilek and son Semih after casting their ballots at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, June 23, 2019. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey’s AK Party candidate for Istanbul mayor Binali Yildirim said on Sunday his opposition rival Ekrem Imamoglu was ahead for now, offering his congratulations and saying he hoped Imamoglu would serve the city well.

Yildirim, speaking minutes after Turkish broadcasters said Imamoglu had 53.6% of the votes after nearly 95% of the ballots had been opened, said the election showed that Turkey’s democracy was functioning perfectly.

Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Dominic Evans

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