Islamist opposition candidate ready to withdraw from Istanbul rerun and back İmamoğlu

The candidate for a small Turkish opposition Islamist party said he was ready to withdraw from the rerun of polls to elect a new mayor of Istanbul and back the main opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, news site Diken reported on Tuesday.

İmamoğlu narrowly won the March 31 election, but the electoral authority on Monday ordered the polls be held again on June 23 after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Islamist party objected to the results alleging irregularities.

The Islamist opposition Felicity Party mayoral candidate for Istanbul received 103,364 votes, or 1.21 percent of the total of more than 8 million, much more than the 13,000-vote margin by which İmamoğlu won the race.

"I am ready, waiting for my party's decision," Felicity Party Necdet Gökçınar told broadcaster TV5.

Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party and its far-right ally said illegalities had affected more than 41,000 votes in the polls.