Polls to be repeated in Ağrı as BDP candidate declares his 'love' to city
Extraordinary security measures were taken in Ağrı, where votes have been recounted throuhout the week upon AKP's request. AA PhotoElections for the municipality of the northeastern city of Ağrı will be repeated on June 1 following Peace and Democracy Party’s objection (BDP) to the acceptance of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) demand for a 15th vote recount.
The election last week was won by the BDP’s outspoken lawmaker Sırrı Sakik with the tiny margin of ten votes ahead of difference over the AKP’s Hasan Arslan.
Upon the AKP’s repeated requests, votes were recounted 14 times without any change in result. A decision from the provincial electoral board for a 15th recount sparked outrage among the BDP, which asked for the annulation of the elections altogether.
“Despite leading with nearly 150 votes after a recount of 24 ballot boxes that lasted 30 hours, we preferred to ask for the annulation of the process due to the tension in the city and the sensitivity of our people,” Sakık told reporters.
For his part, AKP’s Arslan said they had filed a similar request four days prior to the BDP. “They have understood how correct the AKP was in that the elections had lost their legitimacy. We have reached our goal,” Arslan said.
‘It was me who suited you best’
But Sakık had repeatedly slammed the AKP’s attempt to “steal” the results throughout the week after none of the recounts decided for the AKP’s victory. On April 5, the BDP lawmaker declared his love to the town, sharing some sentimental verses on Twitter.
“I don’t deny this, the huge task of loving you I have engaged in, and please don’t deny it, it was me who best matched with your skin #Ağrı,” Sakık wrote.
Ağrı is just one of the battlegrounds where fraud claims and demands of vote recounts have been made. But the electoral boards have mostly refused opposition demands to recount votes, most crucially in Ankara, where the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate Mansur Yavaş has appealed the results amid tension.