Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) announced do-over of Istanbul local elections on May 6 after it made deliberations on an appeal filed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which which wanted to annul and re-run the March 31 local elections in Istanbul, 36 days after the opposition’s candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, won to become mayor of the country’s largest city.
YSK announced that a do-over election in Istanbul will be held on June 23. The council members accepted AKPs objection to the local election results in Istanbul with seven votes in favor and four against.
According to the YSK, the decision was taken as some presiding officers and polling staffs, who are supposed to be civil servants as per Turkish law, served during the elections.
The mayoral certificate of İmamoğlu has also been cancelled by the council.
Earlier, YSK convened under the leadership of its chair Sadi Güven on May 6 in a bid to evaluate the results of the works carried out by the watchdog’s provincial electoral bodies in Istanbul.
The YSK’s 11 judges first met in a meeting with the participation of the representatives of political parties before holding a separate discussion to decide on the Istanbul polls. The AKPand the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) filed an extraordinary appeal seeking the cancellation of the Istanbul polls due to what they say were marred by irregularities that resulted in election results to the disadvantage to their candidate, Binali Yıldırım.
The difference in votes between the two was less than 14,000. The main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İmamoğlu started his job as mayor of Istanbul after his mandate was given to him on April 17.
The AKP and the MHP argued that some 40,000 ineligible voters participated in the elections and the appointments of many polling station officials were done against regulations.
Also state-run Anadolu Agency had reported May 5 that a criminal probe launched into irregularities resulted in finding 43 officials “linked to FETÖ.”
Hurriyet Daily News