All eyes again on election board after it delays review of AKP appeal to annul elections in Istanbul district
The Supreme Election Board (YSK) has once again delayed reviewing and announcing its decision on the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) numerous appeals to annul the elections in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district.
The YSK on April 11 postponed for the second time its examination of the AKP’s appeal for the annulment of the vote in Büyükçekmece, won by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
At a meeting on April 10, the election body decided to wait to hold a meeting on Büyükçekmece until the district election board finalized the ongoing recount of votes in the Maltepe district of Istanbul.
In the present case, if the recount in Maltepe does not finish by April 13, the YSK will not be able to make its final verdict in line with the official schedule and the process will only prolong.
The YSK is expected to evaluate the AKP’s appeal to cancel elections in Büyükçekmece along with the AKP’s appeal to renew elections in the entire Istanbul province because it said a decision on Büyükçekmece will “directly influence the final decision on the Istanbul vote.”
By law, the AKP has to make its extraordinary appeal to the YSK within seven days after the completion of the recounting process in Istanbul.
The YSK has seven full members and four substitute members. The decision is made by six members. According to YSK law, for the renewal of the elections upon an extraordinary appeal, the claims should be based “on concrete data” and these claims should be “effective on the outcome by the number of voters.”
CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak said the attitude of the YSK which is continuously delaying the process was suspicious. He said he believes this attitude will result in the AKP to push for the cancellation of the election in the entire Istanbul province.
Chiming in, CHP mayoral candidate for Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu, who won the seat according to initial results, said the AKP and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were deliberately not sending their representatives to recount the votes in Maltepe district in order to slow down the process, which entered its 12th day on Friday.
He called on the YSK to immediately do the recounting in Maltepe so that the results for Istanbul get finalized.
Meanwhile, the AKP reportedly made an application to bar Ahmet Türk, who was elected as the mayor of the southeastern province of Mardin, from serving because he was “ailing and old, and therefore cannot serve as mayor.”