Turkey's opposition seeks cancellation of 2018 elections

Combined Shape

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s main opposition party on Wednesday appealed to the country’s top electoral body to annul local election results in Istanbul’s 39 districts, as well as last year’s presidential and parliamentary results, after the authority annulled the opposition’s victory in Istanbul’s mayoral race and ordered a new vote.

Ruling in favor of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Board this week ordered a re-run of the March 31 vote on Istanbul’s next mayor, which was narrowly won by opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu. The board based its decision on the fact that some officials overseeing the mayoral election were not civil servants, as required by law.

The ruling party claimed that such irregularities affected the outcome of the race.

In response, the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party, or CHP, submitted a formal request for the cancellation of the Istanbul district elections and last year’s general elections, arguing that non-civil servants had also supervised those ballots.

CHP cannot appeal the electoral board’s decision to repeat Istanbul’s mayoral election, as that is final.

Trending:
Texas Rangers Investigating After Angry Man Kills 2 Sheriff's Deputies in His Yard

AKP won a majority of the Istanbul districts as well as last year’s general elections, which gave Erdogan a new mandate with sweeping powers.

“If you say that the local election was stained, then the same is valid for the June 24 (2018) elections,” CHP legislator Muharrem Erkek told reporters after submitting the appeal. “Ten thousand people who were not civil servants were on duty for the June 24 election.”

“If you cancel Mr. Imamoglu’s mandate, then you have to cancel Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s mandate too,” Erkek said, addressing the electoral board members.

He added there was no evidence proving that the presence of non-civil servants at the ballot stations had affected the outcome of the Istanbul vote.

Even though the Supreme Electoral board is not expected to uphold the opposition’s appeal, CHP sought to expose what it says is the decision’s unfairness.

CHP, which has questioned the electoral authority’s independence, believes that the board’s members had succumbed to pressure by Erdogan. The party has accused the president of “stealing” Istanbul city hall in order to cling to power in Turkey’s largest city and commercial hub.

“We don’t trust or believe (in the electoral body),” Erkek said. “This is a struggle for democracy. It is not about CHP or Imamoglu.”

The electoral authority issued a statement on Wednesday saying it would continue working “without being affected by the campaigns of pressure, intimidation, insult and threats” directed against it.

The loss of Istanbul — and the capital, Ankara — in Turkey’s local elections came as sharp blows to Erdogan.

Related:
Texas Passes Fetal Heartbeat Bill with 1st-of-Its-Kind Provision to 'Hold Abortionists Accountable'

Erdogan says rerunning the Istanbul mayoral vote will strengthen democracy in Turkey by ensuring that the will of the people of Istanbul is truly reflected.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Combined Shape
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation