AKP to seek new election in Istanbul
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will apply to Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) for a new election in Istanbul on grounds that irregularities had affected the outcome, the party’s deputy chair said April 9, nine days after the elections showed the opposition’s candidate won a narrow victory.
“There have been events and situations which directly impacted the election results. Therefore, we use our right to the extraordinary objection and ask to hold a new election in Istanbul,” AKP deputy chair Ali İhsan Yavuz told reporters on April 9.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), AKP’s electoral ally, said it supports the AKP for a re-election appeal in Istanbul.
Yavuz criticized a YSK ruling rejecting the AKP appeal for a recount of votes in 31 districts of Istanbul.
Speaking about the YSK’s decision to, however, recount votes only in 51 ballot boxes, he said that was not what the AKP had wanted from the YSK. “What will change by counting the votes only in 51 ballot boxes?” he said.
Yavuz said with only 6 percent of the votes having been recounted, the vote difference between opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu and his AKP rival Binali Yıldırım had dropped from 29,000 to 14,000.
“It is not odd to try to win by using all legitimate and legal avenues,” he added.
The AKP deputy chair claimed irregularities took place in Büyükçekmece district of Istanbul as well as the entire province.
“The YSK should have removed all these complexities,” he noted.
“We will file our appeal. It is important to recount the votes in Istanbul, because there are substantial evidence and documents that cannot be ignored,” he said.
The AKP official overlooking YSK issues, Recep Özel, said his party appealed with the election board for a renewal in elections in Istanbul because of “absolute irregularity.”
The AKP claims the residential addresses of over 11,000 people were “unlawfully moved to Büyükçekmece in order to unfairly change the outcome of the elections.”
Meanwhile, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said that a new election could be held to restore the “nation’s conscience.”
CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak, meanwhile, said the AKP was arguing “lawless” had taken place in the elections but they were conducted under the responsibility of the justice and interior ministers who assured the polls would be conducted without any concerns.
Meanwhile, the AKP will hold its central executive meeting on April 10 to evaluate the election results.
According to unofficial results in the Istanbul mayoral race, before any recounts, İmamoğlu took the lead with 48.79 percent of the votes against Yıldırım, who garnered 48.5 percent.