Supreme Election Board allows CHP to run in polls in Istanbul district
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
The CHP's Istanbul branch head, Oğuz Kaan Salıcı (C), and the party's candidate for the Istanbul mayoralty, Mustafa Sarıgül (R), speak during a news conference. AA photoThe main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) participation in the local elections in one of its stronghold municipalities in Istanbul has been confirmed by the Supreme Election Board (YSK), after going down to the wire.
The Sarıyer District Election Board ruled late Feb. 20 that the main opposition could not participate in the upcoming March 30 local elections, as it submitted its candidate list nine minutes too late. The decision meant the CHP would not be running in the elections in the Sarıyer district, where it won the polls in 2009. Hours later, the YSK invalidated the decision.
The local election board had decided by five votes to two that the CHP would not be able to participate in the polls in Sarıyer. After that ruling, the party’s Istanbul head, Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, said they had sent the list by fax before the deadline, but the fax procedure came through nine minutes late.
Turkey’s Supreme Election Committee organized an extraordinary meeting late Feb. 20, ruling in favor of the party’s objection and claiming that the necessary files had in fact been submitted on time and only a CD version of the list was sent a few minutes after the deadline.
The CHP’s Şükrü Genç won the 2009 elections in Sarıyer, receiving 37.5 of the votes against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate, which received 31.8 of the votes.
Şişli Mayor and the CHP’s Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality candidate, Mustafa Sarıgül, criticized his party’s actions that had led to the crisis.
“There is this misinterpretation by the Sarıyer District Election Board. Actually, our friends submitted their lists at five minutes before the deadline. But I have to ask, why five minutes? Why not an hour before? Why not submit it a day before [the deadline]?” Sarıgül said.