Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) has declined a request from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to cancel the votes cast by purged civil servants in the local elections, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
The ruling came during a meeting of the YSK on April 23 at its Ankara headquarters to evaluate appeals made by the AKP and its election ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), regarding the March 31 local elections.
The AKP in its appeal argued that the votes of 14,712 former civil servants who were dismissed from their public jobs should not have counted in the Istanbul elections because they must be considered ineligible to vote.
The AKP’s appeal drew criticism from the main opposition Republic People’s Party (CHP) at the time because there is no law in Turkey that bans fired civil servants from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
While the YSK dismissed that particular appeal by the AKP, the elections watchdog said they would consider two other AKP appeals concerning some balloting committee chairmen and members and a claim that 41,132 “ineligible” voters were allowed to cast votes in the elections.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members and other officials for the next five years.
Ekrem İmamoğlu of the CHP on April 17 officially took office as mayor of Istanbul after 17 days of vote counting and recounting, but his election still faces legal challenges from the AKP and MHP.
The YSK is expected to put an end to the legal saga by Friday.