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Turkey’s election body finalizes decision to cancel election of purge victim mayors

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Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) on Thursday confirmed its decision to annul the election of mayors who were purged from public service by government decrees after objections from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

In the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016, Turkey dismissed some 140,000 public servants over alleged links to terrorist organizations.

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 to govern instead.

After the initial decision nine mayoral offices were transferred from the HDP to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), whose candidates came second in the elections.

The decision drew harsh criticism, especially in Diyarbakır’s Bağlar district, where the HDP’s purge victim candidate garnered over 70 percent of the vote, while the AKP’s nominee received only 25 percent.

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