MHP reacts against election watchdog
The upcoming June 23 Istanbul mayoral election should be held without opening up for discussion recent decisions by the Supreme Election Board (YSK), said Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on June 4.
“Such behavior is difficult to understand,” Bahçeli told reporters.
“We have to realize these 23 June elections without putting the YSK decisions so far in extreme debate,” he noted.
His comments concerned the latest YSK decision which paves the way for heads of district election boards and directors, who are subject to investigation over March 31 local polls, to assume duty in June 23 elections.
Bahçeli said whatever the outcome of this election, they should be considered as an important step in terms of shaping the future of Turkey.
“The structural reforms that have been initiated now should be carried out in line with the presidential government system goals for 2023,” he said noting that these goals should be practiced by the political parties under review and discussions of intellectuals.
Elaborating on the same issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “there is a misunderstanding” and “the case is not certain yet.” The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has submitted its objection to this decision, he told reporters on June 4.
“The issue has nothing about the balloting committees. It’s about election boards and the YSK will rule taking account the AKP’s objection,” he said, noting that the YSK is not the authority responsible for judges. The high council of judges and prosecutors is responsible for the judges, he recalled.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members and other officials.
In the Istanbul mayor’s election, AKP candidate Binali Yıldırım lost against the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, trailing by around 13,000 votes behind his rival in the local elections on March 31. The AKP and its ally MHP appealed to the YSK seeking the annulment and renewal of the election, arguing that there was fraud and severe irregularities that impacted the election results.
The YSK accepted the appeal and annulled the March 31 municipal election in Istanbul on the grounds that ineligible officers and poll workers, who are supposed to be civil servants according to Turkish law, served during the elections.
The YSK also decided to file a criminal complaint against the chair and members of district election boards, election managers and other persons responsible for appointing poll workers “unlawfully.”
The mayoral certificate of İmamoğlu, who rallied 48.8 percent of the votes in the March 31 election, has also been revoked by the council.