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Turkey Electoral Board Rejects Opposition Request to Annul Istanbul Polls

Turkey Electoral Board Rejects Opposition Request to Annul Istanbul Polls

Monday, 13 May, 2019 - 18:30
An electoral banner with the pictures of President Erdogan and Justice and Development Party candidate Binali Yildirim is seen over the Galata Bridge, Istanbul, May 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey’s High Election Board (YSK) rejected on Monday a demand by opposition parties to annul all votes in the Istanbul local elections.

The opposition had submitted the request after the board's decision to strip it of its victory in the mayoral race.

The board also turned down the opposition's request to annul the results of last year's presidential and parliamentary elections, which further solidified President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on power.

The board ruled in favor of Erdogan's party last week, ordering a re-run of the mayoral race on June 23, saying some officials overseeing the election were not civil servants as required by law.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Iyi (Good) Party argued that if the mayoral vote - which the CHP won - was canceled then all the other votes in Istanbul, as well as Erdogan’s victory in a presidential election last year, should also be annulled because the same flaws took place in those elections.

After weeks of appeals by the ruling AKP and its nationalist MHP ally, the election board ruled last week for a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election which the CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu won by a narrow margin.

It was the first time in 25 years that the AKP or its Islamist predecessors had failed to win control of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with a budget of close to $4 billion. Erdogan launched his own political career as Istanbul mayor.

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