CHP slams YSK’s justification for Istanbul rerun
A detailed ruling by the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on its justification for the cancellation of the March 31 Istanbul polls has revealed that the decision was politically-motivated and failed to prove that alleged irregularities had an impact on the election results, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said.
“This detailed ruling is in fact a confession. It proves that they have lied about the stolen votes. This ruling does not even have a line that can prove that votes have been stolen,” CHP deputy leader Muharrem Erkek told a press conference on May 23.
The YSK issued a more than 250-page detailed justification late May 22 for its decision to rerun the March 31 polls in Istanbul, in which CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Binali Yıldırım with a minor vote difference.
The seven judges of the YSK have outlined the grounds on which they voted in favor of cancellation, whereas four others, including its President Sadi Güven, have explained why this decision was not legal.
“This ruling is grave in regards to the Turkish justice,” Erkek stressed. The ruling cites a number of irregularities on the composition of the polling stations and ineligible voters but none of them had a significant impact on the election results, Erkek informed.
“The application argued that more than 40,000 illegible voters participated in the elections. This detailed ruling, however, reveals that just 706 illegible voters were recorded. It does not affect the entire polls,” he stressed.
One other important argument by the AKP for the cancellation of polls was the fact that chairs of 754 polling stations were not selected from among civil servants, Erkek recalled, informing that the law never stipulates the annulment of any polls because some polling station officials were not civil servants.
“Some 532 of them were teachers from private colleges and the rest were working in private banks. We entrust our children to the former and our money to the latter. It is not fair to accuse them,” he said.
The CHP deputy leader read a line from the dissenting opinion on the same matter cited in the same detailed ruling: “No election in the past has ever been cancelled because of the composition of the polling stations.”
This is a clear exposure that this ruling is political, Erkek said, adding that the detailed justice also failed to explain why only Istanbul mayoral elections were cancelled even though voters did vote for district mayors and municipal councils in the same envelope.
“The gravest thing about this detailed justification is the fact that it still annulled the polls although everything is quite clear with regard to the Istanbul elections. Those who have voted for it may still use their titles as judges but they have made clear that they are not men of law,” Erkek stressed.
In light of this injustice the June 23 polls will represent a chance for the people of Istanbul to correct an unfairness by taking to the polling stations, Erkek said.
“This has now turned into a struggle of democracy. The last word belongs to the people.”