AKP to ask for new mayoral election in İstanbul

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Pedestrians in the central Kizilay district of Ankara, Turkey, walk by a campaign bus featuring the face of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 8, 2018, ahead of the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections.. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will demand a new mayoral election in İstanbul and file an extraordinary objection with the country’s election authority, a party official said on Tuesday.

Turkey held local elections on March 31 and Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the ranks of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), won in İstanbul against his rival Binali Yıldırım, a former prime minister fielded by the AKP, according to unofficial election results.

Although Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced on the night of March 31 that İmamoğlu received more votes than Yıldırım, he has not yet been declared the winner due to objections from the AKP to the election results in İstanbul.

AKP Deputy Chairman Ali İhsan Yavuz said his party would lodge an extraordinary objection at the YSK and ask for a new election to be held in İstanbul.

Yavuz said the difference in votes between İmamoğlu and Yıldırım had fallen to some 14,000 from 29,000 during the recount of some votes over the past week.

Yavuz’s remarks came following an announcement by the YSK on Monday night that turned down a request from the AKP for a recount of all votes in 31 İstanbul districts where the AKP’s mayoral candidate lost the election.

According to the YSK decision, the votes in 31 out of 39 districts of İstanbul will not be recounted contrary to what was requested by the AKP.

The AKP representative to the YSK, Recep Özel, however, said the YSK agreed to a recount of votes in 51 ballot boxes in 21 districts of İstanbul.

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