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Istanbul Mayor Indicted for Insulting Election Authorities

Turkish prosecutors have indicted the mayor of Istanbul on charges of insulting election authorities. The prosecutors are calling for a four-year jail sentence for Ekrem İmamoğlu on charges of insulting Supreme Election Board members in a speech he delivered after the cancellation of the first round of elections in March 2019. A court in Istanbul will hear the case. News of the indictment was first reported by the state-owned Anadolu news agency.

İmamoğlu is from the main opposition Republican People’s Party and is seen as a possible challenger to Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan in the 2023 presidential elections. He was elected mayor of Istanbul in June 2019 in a rerun vote, after the original election results were canceled due to fraud allegations.

He is under investigation in at least two other cases: one for alleged disrespectful behavior at a shrine, and another for using public money to promote his opposition to an Erdoğan initiative to create an alternative to shipping in the Bosporus strait.