9 municipalities to be transferred from HDP to AKP after election authority denies mandate for purge victims

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A girl flashes the victory sign as holding a flag bearing the logo of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) as Turkish Kurds gather during Newroz celebrations for the new year in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, on March 21, 2018. Newroz (also known as Nawroz or Nowruz) is an ancient Persian festival, which is also celebrated by Kurdish people, marking the first day of spring, which falls on March 21. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

A decision by Turkey’s election authority this week requires that nine municipalities be handed over to runners-up from the ruling party instead of the elected opposition candidates who were previously purged from public jobs, Euronews Turkish service reported.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) objected to the results of the March 31 local elections in at least nine cities where it lost to candidates from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who in the past were removed from public service.

The Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced that elected mayors should not be given the mandate to govern if they were subjected to expulsion by decrees the government issued in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016.

The YSK justified its decision based on a clause in the decrees which stipulates that dismissed civil servants can no longer be employed in public service.

The board decided that the runners-up should be given the mandate instead.

The AKP’s objections were lodged in the predominantly Kurdish East and Southeast where in recent years elected mayors from the HDP were replaced by trustees appointed by the AKP-led Interior Ministry.

Meanwhile, in a district of the eastern province of Muş, the runner-up from the HDP received the mandate instead of the winner from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) because of the same YSK decision.

The HDP reacted to the transfer on Twitter, announcing that it rejects the practice in principle and asking for a new election.

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