I will resign if election fraud claims prove to be true: Turkish PM
AA PhotoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has strongly denied opposition claims that the government has established a team of 3,500 people to conduct election fraud, vowing to resign if the claims are proven to be true.
“This is such a terrible slander. What is the evidence? They have already started to make speculations about the election results. This is complete slander,” Davutoğlu told broadcaster A Haber in an interview late on May 19.
He was speaking after Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş had claimed that a team of 3,500, under the stewardship of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Head Süleyman Soylu, had been formed to conduct election fraud.
“[Demirtaş] should prove this claim. If he can, Mr. Soylu or whoever is responsible for this will resign. If they prove it, I will resign. I am sure there is no such thing,” Davutoğlu said.
“They are slowly cooking this, bringing it to the agenda. They will try to push people to take the streets when they hear about the election defeat on June 8,” he added, also recalling that the elections in Turkey would be monitored by the OSCE.
The prime minister also downplayed potential electricity shortages on election day, as occurred during the vote-counting process in the local elections of March 2014, leading to serious concerns over the security of polls. Opposition parties particularly accused the government over the conduct of the mayoral elections in Ankara, while Energy Minister Taner Yıldız famously pointed the finger of blame for blackouts at cats that entered power stations.
Elections are overseen by the independent Supreme Election Board (YSK) and parties race in equal conditions, Davutoğlu said.
“They [the opposition parties] are aiming two things: To find a justification for their election defeat and to call the people to hit the streets. I warn them: If they are involved in a democratic struggle, they will accept the results. We will not make any concessions for those who try to bring people to the streets. All necessary security measures will be taken in such a case,” he added.