CHP leader expresses confidence in Istanbul electorate
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu expressed his confidence in the Istanbul electorate for a victory of his party’s candidate in the do-over municipality elections in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.
“I trust the conscience of Istanbul, İmamoglu will be elected again,” he told the CHP’s group meeting May 14 in parliament, referring to opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu.
“The nation’s will has been abused,” he said, stressing that İmamoglu’s victory was annulled by the Supreme Election Council (YSK). “This injustice should be fixed,” the CHP leader noted.
“It is the judiciary itself that is destroying justice,” he said, elaborating on the YSK decision to scrap the March 31 municipal elections in Istanbul.
Recalling that the YSK re-counted votes in many districts of Istanbul following the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) objections on alleged “irregularities,” Kılıçdaroğlu said the re-count had not changed the results.
“It is not the fault of the voters,” the CHP leader said.
The AKP representative on the electoral board, Recep Özel, said the re-run was called because some electoral officials were not civil servants and some result papers had not been signed.
He described the seven members of the YSK who voted in favor of the annulment as “members of a gang,” calling for their resignations. The CHP leader claimed these judges had been in touch with ruling party officials.
The AKP and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had appealed to the YSK seeking the annulment and renewal of the Istanbul municipal elections, arguing that there were fraud and severe irregularities that impacted the election results.
The AKP’s Binali Yıldırım had lost against CHP candidate İmamoğlu, trailing behind him by around 13,000 votes, in the local elections on March 31.
YSK members accepted on May 6 the AKP’s objection to the results in Istanbul, revoking İmamoğlu’s mayoral certificate and ruling for an election re-run set for June 23.