AKP to file criminal complaint against Istanbul poll result
A senior ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) official has said his party will file a criminal complaint against what they believe are irregularities and rigging committed in the March 31 local elections in Istanbul regardless of whether or not the Supreme Election Council (YSK) renews the polls, claiming FETÖ meddling.
“We will do two things in the wake of the YSK’s decision [on the application for the renewal of Istanbul elections], whether it’s positive or not. First, we will file a criminal complaint on the illegalities by whoever they have been committed, even if they are from the AK Party,” AKP deputy leader Ali İhsan Yavuz told a press conference in Ankara on April 17.
“Secondly, we are of the opinion that there is a need for new legal arrangements,” Yavuz said, referring to the country’s Election Law, but did not give details.
The AKP submitted an application for the annulment and renewal of the Istanbul mayoral elections to the YSK on April 16 on grounds that there were severe irregularities and illegalities in the polls on March 31.
Yavuz claimed the elections were rigged in Istanbul, saying the AKP will take all necessary legal action to find the “perpetrators” in order to secure poll safety for the future elections. “We would like to see the CHP helping us to this end,” he stated.
Yavuz said the AKP’s initial findings have shown that 5,388 documents out of more than 62,000 which approved the results were unstamped and had no signatures. He also said that around one-third of the balloting committees were not selected from among civil servants as told by authorities.
Twelve members of these committees were civil servants expelled from their posts due to alleged links to FETÖ, which Ankara blames for the 2016 coup attempt, while thousands of others were “first-degree relatives of FETÖ members,” Yavuz claimed.
Those in the balloting committees were selected by the YSK’s Istanbul provincial bodies from lists provided by the authorities. Yavuz accused the heads of the election watchdog of appointing representatives not listed by the authorities.
He also claimed a campaign was launched against the AKP on social media by people linked to FETÖ, who were in cooperation with the CHP.
“Irregularities and illegalities have been observed in all 39 districts of Istanbul. I have never seen such a massive and organized plot,” Yavuz said.
The AKP filed another appeal to the YSK on April 17 for the annulment of the minutes and documents recorded in Maltepe district of Istanbul after the recount of the votes were completed. It argued that irregularities were observed while the district electoral board was collecting the minutes in a move to stop the YSK’s announcement of the initial results of Istanbul elections.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had also asked the YSK to annul and renew the polls in Istanbul, citing echoing the AKP’s arguments.