Erdogan's party calls for new elections in Istanbul
It is now up to the Supreme Election Council to make a decisionEuropost
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, known as AKP, is asking the country's election council for a redo of the mayoral election in Istanbul, the country's financial capital and its largest city. The Supreme Election Council, or YSK, will now decide whether to give the mandate to AKP opposition, Republican People's Party, CHP, in Istanbul or to hold new elections 2 June.
AKP lost in the 31 March elections Istanbul by a razor-thin margin. According to unofficial results, CHP, garnered 48.79% and the AK 48.51% of the vote. Thus Erdogan's party has contested the results for weeks, claiming "organised irregularities." A recount requested by the AKP has already ended, according to Turkish news agency Anadolu and CHP members, but the results haven't been announced.
"There is a clear and organized irregularity and election fraud," said AKP Deputy Chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz. "There is only one body to clear the questions. It is Supreme Election Council. Their decisions are binding for all of us."
Before this vote, the AKP and its predecessor have consistently won in Istanbul's local elections since the 1990s, when Erdogan launched his political career there as mayor. He served as the face of AKP's local election campaigns this year, holding rallies across Turkey in support of the party. But it wasn't enough for the voters to choose them. Erdogan's AKP also lost the capital city Ankara in local elections there the same day. YSK, last week rejected a request by the AKP to recount votes there, as well Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.