Turkey's top judge downplays concerns over elections

Turkey's top judge downplays concerns over elections

Turkeys top judge downplays concerns over elections

‘System is working and institutions are fulfilling their duties,’ Kılıç says. AA Photo

Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç has sought to temper concerns over irregularities and fraud claims in the March 30 local election, stressing that the “system is working.”

“I have always laid the emphasis on the fact that if the system in a country is working, then there is no need for concern. There may be various objections and mistakes, but it seems that the system is working and the related institutions and board are fulfilling their duties and what is required,” Kılıç told reporters on April 7.

His comments came a day after the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) nominee for Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Mansur Yavaş, said his party was prepared to take its request for an annulment of the mayoral vote in the capital Ankara to the Constitutional Court and even the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) if necessary.

“As the head of that institution, it is neither appropriate nor possible for me to make a statement from today saying ‘Such a decision will be made,” Kılıç said when asked about Yavaş’s statement on appealing to the Constitutional Court if the Supreme Election Board (YSK) rejects the appeal for an annulment of the vote in Ankara. When asked to elaborate whether he hinted that the Constitutional Court did not have any further jurisdiction authority after the YSK makes its related decision, Kılıç only said: “Our court and delegation will decide when the appeal is filed.”

The CHP’s appeal to the YSK on April 6 came after the provincial board in Ankara rejected the CHP’s appeal for a recount on April 4. Earlier on April 7, speaking to reporters, YSK President Sadi Güven briefly said that what the high board has now been fulfilling was a “judicial mission.”

He said the Constitution assigned a number of tasks to the YSK, one of them being the administration of elections and another one being “the judicial mission.”

“After the elections, what is currently being practiced is a judicial mission,” Güven said, also refusing to speak about the details of the CHP’s appeal, at least at this stage. The March 30 race was especially tight in Ankara, where the AKP’s incumbent mayor, Melih Gökçek - in power for 20 years - scored 44.79 percent against 43.77 percent for Yavaş.