Turkey’s HDP appeals for cancelation of Nov. 1 election results, citing ‘unfair conditions’

Turkey’s HDP appeals for cancelation of Nov. 1 election results, citing ‘unfair conditions’

Turkey’s HDP appeals for cancelation of Nov. 1 election results, citing ‘unfair conditions’

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The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has appealed to Turkey’s top election body to cancel the Nov. 1 snap election, arguing that the campaign did not take place in line with “free and equal voting” and the interim Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had an unfair advantage.

The HDP petitioned the Supreme Election Board (YSK) on Nov. 15 and the party’s Adana deputy, Meral Danış Beştaş, announced its appeal on Nov. 16, a day before members of the newly elected parliament were set to take oath. 

Dubbing the Nov. 1 elections “illegitimate,” Beştaş recalled at a press conference in parliament that the HDP lost one seat in Mersin province by 30 votes and one seat in Tunceli by 168 votes. She also referred to the controversial role played by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, apparently campaigning in favor of the AKP despite his constitutional neutrality.

In it its petition filed to the YSK, the HDP stated: “There is no doubt that every local election, general election and by-election should take place between political parties and independent candidates. However, during the 26th Legislative Term Deputy General Elections held on Nov. 1, 2015, a series of actions and operations against this principle took place. A campaign against our party was conducted through the hands of the president and the interim government, which were not been a party in the elections; public resources were unlimitedly used to this aim; press organs were placed under a disciplinary order in a way that could only be seen before during coup eras; voters were scared and terrorized and prevented from going to vote; and through hundreds of attacks against our party buildings, our party was put in a situation where it could not hold rallies or campaign.” 

“The election took place against the principle of integrity and the president and the interim government thus put their signature to a major election fraud,” the HDP said. 

“Additionally, governors, sub-governors, gendarmerie commanders and police chiefs who work under the government/the Interior Ministry tried to manipulate and influence provincial and district ballot box committees with false information and exerted a series of efforts for merging of ballot boxes. However, the YSK did not allow this,” the party said, referring to the election board’s Oct. 3 decision to reject the relocation of polling stations for security reasons on the grounds that there was no regulation pertaining to the moving of ballot boxes for security reasons.

The YSK announced the official results of the Nov. 1 snap elections on Nov. 12. The AKP, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the HDP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) obtained 317, 134, 59 and 40 seats, respectively. 

In its appeal, the HDP relied on Article 2 and Article 30 of Law No 298 on the Basic Provisions on Elections and Voter Registers.

“Elections are held based on the principles of free, equal and single stage public voting,” reads Article 2. 

Article 30 states: “Objections concerning facts that may change the results of the elections lodged by provincial leaders or headquarters of political parties or by independent candidates within seven days from the date of the drawing up of the return in question shall not be refused to be examined or rejected on the grounds that decisions delivered at lower levels are definitive or have become definitive or that the concerned have failed to apply within the time-limit or in compliance with the hierarchy, if boards which have the authority to deliver definitive decisions believe that such objection may change the results of the elections.”