Ruling AKP seeks total recount of all ballots in Istanbul mayoral election

Deputy Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ali Ihsan Yavuz said they have applied to the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) for a recount of all ballots cast in the March 31 Istanbul mayoral election, which an opposition candidate narrowly won in a partial recount.

Millions of Turkish citizens went to the polls on March 31 in the local elections to elect mayors, members of councils, neighborhood officials (mukhtars) and members of elder councils for the next five years.

According to unofficial results Ekrem Imamoglu, mayor-elect of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), leads the Istanbul vote by 48.79 percent while AKP’s Binali Yildirim follows with 48.51 percent.

AKP officials appealed the results in a bid to shift the outcome of local elections in Istanbul in AKP’s favor, as is the case in Ankara. Following a partial recount of 78 percent of void ballots, Imamoglu’s lead over Yildirim has narrowed from some 25,000 to 16,442 votes.

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, the AKP deputy chairman claimed that there was something going beyond simple individual errors in the counts.

“Beyond errors, there is an organized irregularity, an organized abuse here,” the AKP deputy chairman said.

“[That is why] we have applied to the YSK for all Istanbul’s votes to be recounted, except for Buyukcekmece, where we have demanded the annulation of the election,” said Yavuz.

On the other side, mayor-elect Imamoglu has been urging the ruling AKP to concede defeat in Istanbul.

Similarly on Friday after a partial recount, AKP seniors had also submitted their objection to the provincial board, demanding the recount of all ballot boxes, totaling 12,180 in Ankara.

Turkey’s ruling party leads local elections, but faces defeat in big cities

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