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Abdullah Köktürk

Lame Duck
Tarih: 22-04-2019 21:32:00 Güncelleme: 22-04-2019 21:32:00

Local elections on March 31 in Turkey, brought out surprised results for the ruling party, Justice and Development Party (AKP). In the return of the election, which was not surprised for political scientists, Turkey's major cities mainly Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir passed into the hands of the opposition. AKP had many objections especially to the election results of Istanbul, but they  seemed to be inconclusive, and 17 days after the election, Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu got the seat as the mayor of the municipality. Then, AKP applied to the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) for the cancellation of the elections of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Istanbul is a city where rulership does not want to lose because  it has a budget of about 4 billion dollars and an immense amount of rent of 30-40 billion dollars each year and a population of 15 million. One reason that AKP doesn't want to release the city is the fear of ensue of corruptions in their time. For example, İSPARK, which operates in Istanbul and operates all of the car parks in Istanbul, has been supposedly making an implausibly loss for years. In addition, there are rumors that the municipality sources were allocated to the religious foundations close to the AKP.

Also something that the AKP government does not want to see is that many voters who had previously voted for the AKP voted for Imamoglu in this election in order to punish the govenment that was held responsible for the economic crisis, unemployment and the high cost of living. Instead of investigating the reasons why their voters moved away, the AKP relies on the rhetoric of irregularity and fraud. This prevents them from seeing the facts.

The reasons for the AKP's loss of big cities are as follows;

1. They couldn't manage the economy well,

2. When people economically were in a difficult situation,  they lived gloriously and wasted resources,

3. They relied solely on social assistance without creating employment,

4. They gave great rents to the supporters in big cities and filled cities with skyscrapers,

5. They didn't do anything for traffic problems, especially in Istanbul.

If the AKP emphasizes that they have lost, only because of the polling frauds without analyzing the above points well, they will get a bigger defeat in the next election.

AKP Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reminded oppositions mayors who won the elections that they had the power and the majority in the municipal councils and he likened them to “lame duck”. “Lame duck” is a metaphor that is used for an elected official whose successor has already been elected in USA. Thus, the President stated that they would prevent elected mayors from working. However, any blocking will be written to the AKP and to the President,  and even the mistakes of the mayors due to their incompetence will be billed to the AKP. The mayors will say that they were blocked by the government. That is, mayors will be profitable from everything that is positive and negative, and the real “lame duck” will be Erdogan and his government.

Finally, there is no guarantee that a renewal of elections in Istanbul will be in favor of the AKP. If the decision to renew the election is declared, Imamoglu will be perceived as a victim and there might be a possibility that his votes will increase. In such a case, AKP government may be questioned, but quite likely Erdogan will not have such a request. The documents given by the AKP to the YSK are empty, and this shows that the government does not have an intention to renew the elections. In addition, the continuation deepening of the economic crisis in the coming days may even lead to overthrow of the AKP government before the deadline.

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