Turkey needs justice, CHP leader says ahead of YSK ruling on Istanbul poll

Turkey needs justice, CHP leader says ahead of YSK ruling on Istanbul poll

Turkey needs justice, CHP leader says ahead of YSK ruling on Istanbul poll

One of Turkey’s immediate needs is justice, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party has said, calling on the election watchdog to finalize its month-long scrutiny of the Istanbul polls and confirm Ekrem İmamoğlu as mayor.

“The YSK [Supreme Election Council] needs to abide by its previous but similar rulings. It needs to refuse counterfeit evidences and should not bow to pressure from those in power. This country needs justice,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a meeting on May 3 with mayors elected in the March 31 local polls.

The YSK is yet to draw a conclusion of its process investigating alleged irregularities in the Istanbul elections upon appeals by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), whose nominee Binali Yıldırım lost against the CHP’s candidate and now mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu, with a minor difference.

Kılıçdaroğlu called on YSK members to defend the rule of law, not the “superiority of others above the law,” saying the “YSK should dismiss the plot of those in power set against democracy. Otherwise, justice cannot be served.”

Describing the CHP’s efforts for the final registration of İmamoğlu as Istanbul mayor as a struggle for democracy, Kılıçdaroğlu said no matter how many times votes get re-counted, the result will remain the same.

“Why are Istanbul’s election results not finalized? All votes were re-counted yet the result stayed the same whether it was in six or 39 districts, or 57 ballot boxes. What is the YSK trying to do?” he said.

The finalized results of the Istanbul elections will show whether the YSK sided with or against democracy, according to Kılıçdaroğlu, who also accused the YSK of leaking information to AKP officials, referring to an opinion piece by a columnist of an opposition newspaper.

“Is the YSK collaborating with the AKP to renew the Istanbul elections? We do not want to believe this,” he said. “We want the judge to order a ruling with his consciousness and in accordance with the laws,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu also called on CHP’s mayors in the meeting to work without feelings of vengeance or enmity.

“Transparency, one of the fundamental principles of the CHP, is really important. We are the only party to conduct an independent external auditing,” he said.