YSK annuls opposition’s appeals for renewal of Istanbul district elections
Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) on May 13 rejected appeals by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İyi (Good) Party for annulment of the entire March 31 local elections in Istanbul, including districts of Turkey’s biggest metropolis.
The YSK also rejected the İyi Party and CHP’s demands to invalidate the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The YSK decision was based on the grounds that the board’s “rulings are final.”
As a result of the YSK decision, Istanbul residents will go to the polls on June 23 for the election of only the mayor of Istanbul.
“We weren’t expecting a different result anyway.” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, speaking at a joint press conference with İyi Party leader Meral Akşener.
He said the YSK decision to annul Istanbul municipal elections does not correspond to district and mukhtar elections given that the three votes were cast in the same electorate envelope.
He accused the YSK of defying the nation’s will.
The opposition appeals piggybacked on the board’s decision on May 6 to annul the victory of the main opposition candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, as the Istanbul mayor.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), had appealed to the YSK seeking the annulment and renewal of the Istanbul municipal elections, arguing that there was a fraud and severe irregularities that impacted the election results.
Binali Yıldırım lost against CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, trailing by around 13,000 votes behind his rival in the local elections on March 31.
YSK members accepted on May 6 the AKP’s objection to the results in Istanbul, revoking İmamoğlu’s mayoral certificate and ruling for an election re-run set for June 23.
The AKP representative on the board, Recep Özel, said the decision was based on unsigned results documents from the March 31 election and on some ballot box officials not being civil servants.
According to unofficial results, İmamoğlu led the polls by almost 13,000 votes in Istanbul where nearly 10 million citizens cast their votes.