CHP’s Istanbul candidate Mustafa Sarıgül demands total recount of votes
Sarıgül slammed the pressure he faced during his campaign, particularly the ban on social media the last week prior to the elections. AA PhotoThe Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul candidate Mustafa Sarıgül has called for the recounting of votes in local polls for “a better acceptance of the results.”
Sarıgül, who lost against incumbent Mayor Kadir Topbaş from the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) by eight points, said the incident-filled counting process was marred by power blackouts in several Istanbul districts and irregularities at ballot boxes.
“The results are not definitive yet. I have been following the results very closely since the ballot boxes were opened. We are continuing to be vigilant against the possibility of vote-rigging,” Sarıgül said during a press conference April 1.
Sarıgül, who conceded defeat a day earlier, urged nevertheless a recount despite the large difference. “Let’s recount the votes in all districts so that Istanbul can accept the results with tranquility. Because, unfortunately, these polls will be remembered as dubious elections,” he said.
Sarıgül slammed the pressure he faced during his campaign, particularly the ban on social media the last week prior to the elections.
“If the ruling party has self-confidence, they should support our demand and allow a recount of votes in Istanbul. If you claim that there is no trouble with the records in which the votes are added, there is nothing to hesitate about,” he said.
The ruling AKP won over 45 percent across the country, maintaining most of its constituencies despite claims of corruption and criticism due to increasing government control on many aspects of social life.
However, a number of irregularities have been reported, particularly in Ankara where the AKP won with a small difference over the CHP.