Turkish opposition candidate collects 5 mln lira for Istanbul campaign in a day

The main Turkish opposition party candidate in the rerun of the election for mayor of Istanbul received 5 million lira ($820,00) in donations for his campaign in one day, opposition newspaper Sözcü said on Monday.

Ekrem İmamoğlu, the secular opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul candidate, was declared the winner of the March 31 election for mayor by a narrow margin, but the electoral board overturned the result and ordered a rerun after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Islamist party complained of voting irregularities.

CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Kuşoğlu told Sözcü the campaign was launched late on Thursday and the following day when the banks were opened, donations totalled 5 million lira. He did not say how many donors had contributed to the campaign fund.

"This campaign is not just about donating money. It has turned to a campaign that represents support for democracy," Sözcü quoted Kuşoğlu as saying.

The vote rerun is to take place on June 23 and is a big test of Erdoğan’s power and prestige.