Top court digging deeper into contested Ankara election

Top court digging deeper into contested Ankara election

Top court digging deeper into contested Ankara election

This file photo shows CHP's Ankara mayoral candidate Mansur Yavaş casting his ballot at a polling station in Ankara on March 30, 2014. AFP Photo

The top court of Turkey has decided to dig deeper into an appeal by the main opposition party’s candidate for ordering a rerun of the contested mayoral race in the capital, as it has asked for additional documents concerning the complainant’s appeal.

The Constitutional Court asked the Supreme Election Board (YSK) for its detailed ruling in which it rejected charges of fraud, including problems with vote counting, which was subject to an appeal by Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Ankara candidate Mansur Yavaş, coordinator for Yavaş’s electioneering and former member of the Parliament for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Suat Kınıklıoğlu, told

The YSY’s detailed ruling, citing reasons for its refusal of Yavaş’s original appeal, which was filed April 9 concerning the local elections held on March 30, was already delayed, Kınıklıoğlu noted.

Kınıklıoğlu explained that the YSK had released its ruling within a few hours, although they had presented some 20,000 documents to the YSK in their appeal.

“The YSK very hastily made a ruling about our appeal. We believe the Constitutional Court will approach our appeal with more seriousness. The process is continuing,” he said.

Having rejected Yavaş’s appeal, the YSK declared the AKP’s incumbent mayor and candidate, Melih Gökçek, winner of the election. As of April 5, Gökçek began his fifth term as mayor of Ankara, having been proclaimed winner with a 0.9 percent lead over the CHP’s candidate.

On May 25, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a rally in the northwestern city of Yalova, where elections will be reran, as on April 21, the YSK canceled the mayoral vote after the CHP was announced the victor over the AKP following a vote recount.

“Ankara didn’t hand over the metropolitan municipality to the CHP,” Erdoğan said in Yalova. Suggesting that Yavaş was “embarrassed” after his appeal was rejected by the YSK, Erdoğan added: “Now he goes to the Constitutional Court. For God’s sake, what has the Constitutional Court to do with this matter? The YSK decision is the final decision. Is there a point in continuing to keep the public busy with this?”

There are suggestions that the Constitutional Court rapporteur’s demand for additional documents in the Yavaş case indicates that the final ruling will be in favor of the complainant, daily Taraf reported yesterday, citing anonymous sources. This is because the Court tends not to expand its examination in cases that it is likely to reject, the report added.

Meanwhile, Taraf also claimed the President of the Constitutional Court, Haşim Kılıç will not attend the meeting concerning Yavaş’s appeal. According to the same sources, he made such decision in order not to attract any controversy or cast a shadow over the final decision by the top court. In recent days, Kılıç has become at odds with the government after his critique of the executive body’s failure to implement rights and freedoms.