Turkey’s election board rejects call to annul Ankara vote

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Turkey’s election board has rejected a request by the main opposition party to annul municipal elections results in the capital, Ankara.

Turkey’s High Election Board dismissed on Wednesday the request by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to cancel the vote count in Ankara due to what it said were irregularities in the counting process.

According to Turkish reports, the CHP candidate for Ankara lost the vote to his AKP rival by less than one percent of the total valid ballots cast.

The CHP challenger in the capital city’s mayoral race, Mansur Yavas, has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of committing fraud. He said the vote count in the March 30 elections was dubious.

“It is our holy duty to protect Ankara’s votes and will. We are here to defeat the dark shadow cast over our democracy,” he said earlier in the week.

The CHP has taken legal measures against the announced poll results. It had previously called for a recount of the votes as the ruling party won about 45 percent of the votes nationwide.

On April 5, Melih Gokcek from the AKP was sworn in as mayor of the capital, despite opposition parties’ complaints about irregularities in the local polls.

The outcome of the recent nationwide municipal elections in Turkey proved a major victory for Erdogan. The polls were widely viewed as a referendum on the prime minister’s continued rule despite a major corruption scandal surrounding his administration.

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