GeriGündem Ruling party main loser in local ballot
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Ruling party main loser in local ballot

Ruling party main loser in local ballot
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ISTANBUL - The main outcome of Sunday’s local elections was a loss of support for the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, to the benefit of most of the country’s opposition parties.

The ruling party had previously been able to increase its initial support of 34.43 percent in the 2002 general elections to 42.2 percent in the 2004 local elections and then to 46.6 percent in the 2007 general elections. But this run was cut short on Sunday, when the AKP received 38.9 percent of the votes cast for municipal assemblies nationwide. The relative defeat for the AKP was the result of a rise in support for the opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, the conservative Saadet (Felicity) Party and the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP.

The CHP increased its votes to 23.2 percent from the 20.9 percent it garnered in 2007, when it formed an election coalition with the Democratic Left Party, or DSP. The MHP’s vote total increased from 14.3 percent in 2007 to 16.1 percent while the SP’s went up from 2.3 percent in 2007 to 5.2 percent.

The real reflection of the AKP’s declining power could be seen in the number of municipalities it won on Sunday compared to the 2004 local elections. In 2004, the AKP won 58 provincial mayoral posts and 483 district municipalities. This time around, it won 45 provincial mayoral posts and 449 district municipalities. The CHP increased the number of provincial municipalities it holds from eight to 13 and its district municipalities from 130 to 168. The MHP now holds 10 provincial municipalities, up from four, and 128 district municipalities, up from 72.

The DTP, which has a significant presence in the Southeast, overcame a tough AKP campaign to double the number of its provincial mayoral posts from four to eight and the number of its district mayoral posts from 32 to 51.

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