Ruling party applies for annulment of mayoral election results in Istanbul
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy chairman Ali İhsan Yavuz has submitted official paperwork to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) to annul the results of the March 31 Istanbul mayoral election, with his party seeking a do-over in the entire province.
“If the entire votes in Istanbul were recounted, the election results would be in favor of us,” Yavuz told reporters after his appeal to the high election board. He came to the board with three suitcases of documents to back up the party’s arguments for a new election.
“If all of these were re-counted, our figures were real. And it would be in our favor.” The YSK has been waiting for finalization of the recount of votes in Maltepe district of Istanbul province before reviewing the ruling party’s objections and accepting a formal appeal, which would extend weeks of post-election uncertainty in the biggest province of Turkey.
The election watchdog body has been waiting to discuss the ruling party’s application to cancel elections in Büyükçekmece district along with the AKP’s appeal to renew elections in the entire Istanbul province after the recount in Maltepe finishes.
The YSK will evaluate the two objections together on the grounds that a decision on Büyükçekmece district will directly influence the final decision on Istanbul votes.
The recount of Maltepe district votes was over on April 17 morning.
The AKP requested a recount of votes that were deemed invalid in several districts of Istanbul, along with a recount of all votes in some other districts.
The AKP claims the residential addresses of over 11,000 people were unlawfully moved to Büyükçekmece, in order to unfairly sway the elections.
Meanwhile, the YSK canceled the election certificate of İYİ (Good) Party candidate Necati Alsancak for Keskin district of the central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale, which had been given by the district election council. The decision will likely set a precedent for the elections elsewhere.
The election watchdog of Turkey ruled for a do-over of the March 31 election in Keskin, which will take place on June 2, after the AKP contested the results.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose Turkey’s mayors, city council members, muhtars (neighborhood officials) and members of elder councils.
According to unofficial results in the Istanbul mayoral race, before any recounts, Ekrem İmamoğlu, the candidate of the CHP, leads with 48.79 percent of the vote, ahead of the AKP’s Binali Yıldırım with 48.51 percent.