Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will do its best not to allow “thieves” to sabotage the results of a mayoral election that will be held for a second time in İstanbul on June 23.
Speaking at the opening of a mosque in İstanbul on Friday, the president said: “You know, there will be an election soon in our country. We will do whatever is necessary and will not leave this job to the thieves. I am saying let’s do our best by working day and night and conclude this [election] with the victory of democracy.”
In a controversial decision on May 6, Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) decided to re-run the mayoral election in İstanbul, which had been won on March 31 by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu.
The YSK announced its 7-4 decision due to allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities after Erdoğan’s AKP lost the race in İstanbul by a narrow margin.
On Wednesday, the YSK announced its long-awaited, 250-page reasoned opinion for its May 6 decision in which the YSK made no mention of votes stolen by the CHP in İstanbul, contrary to the claims of the AKP.
Opposition parties described the election board’s reasoned opinion as “politically motivated” and “unlawful.”