Main opposition Republican People's Party also wants a rerun in all Istanbul district councils. It argues the same flaws which the governing AK Party said occurred during the Istanbul mayoral election apply to the 2018 presidential election.

The picture taken on April 22, 2019 shows head office of Turkey's Supreme Election Council in Ankara.
The picture taken on April 22, 2019 shows head office of Turkey's Supreme Election Council in Ankara. (Metin Aktas / AA)

Turkey's main opposition party on Wednesday formally appealed to the election authority to cancel local poll results in all 39 districts in Istanbul as well as the 2018 presidential election.

Turkey's Supreme Election Council’s (YSK) ruled on Monday for a rerun of the March 31 Istanbul mayoral election, which was won by the opposition Republican People’s Party's (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu with a razor-thin margin.

The cancellation of Istanbul poll results came after weeks of appeals by the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). They cited irregularities and contradictions with the country's election law.

The mayoral certificate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party's (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu was also cancelled by the YSK.

Muharrem Erkek, deputy head of the CHP, said on Wednesday the party filed an objection with the YSK to cancel all results in all 39 districts of Istanbul and hold a revote for municipal council members, mukhtars and members of elderly councils due to the "complete illegality" during the elections.

He said votes for local officials and councils, submitted in the same envelopes as the votes for the mayor, should also be cancelled since the mayoral vote is being held again. 

The CHP requested the annulment of the June 2018 parliamentary and presidential election as well, citing the same flaws that the governing AK Party alleged in the Istanbul mayoral vote.

"Both elections were made based on the same law, the same circulars and the same practices," Erkek said. 

"If you say, 'There were organised irregularities in the local elections in Istanbul and there are doubts [on the results, since] people who are not civil servants served on ballot boxes,' the same thing happened on June 24. So, if something really did take place, it did so on June 24. "


In its ruling, the YSK cited irregularities in the appointment of polling station officials. The AK Party said the fact that individuals who were not public servants were appointed to the stations amounted to organised crime.

It was the first time in about 15 years that the AK Party had failed to win control of Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with a budget of close to $4 billion. 

The YSK left the results for district administrators, municipal councils and local officials unchanged, a decision which the CHP said was nonsense because all four votes were cast in the same envelopes and counted by the same polling officials.

"If you're revoking Ekrem Imamoglu's mandate ... then you must also annul President Erdogan's mandate because the same laws, same regulations, same applications, same polling stations and conditions were present in both elections," CHP Deputy Chairman Muharrem Erkek told reporters.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the elections were marred by "organised irregularity" and added that the decision was an important step towards strengthening democracy.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies