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Istanbul Mayor Imamoglu Jailed For Insulting Public Officials

The Istanbul Mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu has been jailed for two and a half year by a court in Turkey.

The Mayor was accused of calling those who annulled local elections in 2019 “fools”, which didn’t sit well with the officials.

Ekrem Imamoglu a 52 year old politician won the city’s mayoralty by defeating a candidate from Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan’s AK Party.

Reports has it that this sentence may disqualify him from contesting for any political office in the near future, especially next year’s presidential election.

Imamoglu who is under the Republican People’s Party is seen by many as one of the opposition’s strongest candidates to take on Mr Erdogan in the next year’s presidential election that is coming up in June.

The court case which sentenced him to prison was centered on the comment he made after the March 2019 election results was annulled following complaints from the AKP about voting irregularities, which made the election board to order for a re-run.

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Ekrem Imamoglu while defending his use of “fools” to describe the election board who overturned the original result said that he was responding to similar language used by Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

He later won the fresh elections that held in June of that same 2019 by polling 770,000 more votes than his rival and ended the 25 years of AKP rule in Turkey’s largest city.

The court case is currently awaiting the judgement of the Appeal Court which will determine the fate of Ekrem Imamoglu. If the Appeal Court upholds the judgement of the lower court, it means that he won’t be contesting again in the next year’s presidential election.

He, however, reacted to the ruling of the lower court by saying “handful of people cannot take the authority given by the people”.

He is expected to appeal against the judgement in the coming days as his supporters are hopeful that the judgement would be overturned.

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