Pro-Kurdish mayor-elects demand their mandates

Pro-Kurdish elected co-mayors of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality and four central districts have called on the provincial election board to issue their mandates as the ruling party’s appeals had already been concluded by the board, T24 news reported on Tuesday.

Elected co-mayors from the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and their city council members have appealed to the election board to receive their mandates for Diyarbakir Metropolitan, Yenisehir, Baglar, Kayapinar and Sur municipalities.

In their appeals to the board, elected co-mayors have reportedly called on the board to issue their mandates in compliance with regulations or to otherwise provide them with written official statements that explain the reasons of not issuing them.

Following their appeals, HDP’s elected mayors held a press conference in front of the provincial election board under police blockade.

Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, co-mayor-elect of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality said the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) was delaying the announcement of the election results and hiding the reasons for the delay from the public despite the fact that the election was held on March 31; and that the appeals of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had already been concluded.

“As you know, [the government] had replaced our previous HDP mayors with state-appointed officials since 2016. Public will has sent a “go-out” message [in the local election] to the appointed trustees. People are waiting for mayors, elected by their own will, to serve,” said Mizrakli, pointing to the previous AKP policy of replacing HDP mayors with appointed trustees.

Notably after the July 15 coup attempt in 2016, 95 elected HDP mayors in predominantly Kurdish-populated cities were deposed and replaced with appointed trustees, as part of a crackdown by AKP on the opposition HDP.

For Mizrakli the public other than Kurds have been following closely the latest dispute between the main opposition party and the ruling party in Istanbul’s election. Appeals and recounts however have remained ignored against the same unlawful practices in the Kurdish-majority cities.

Mizrakli further challenged the objectivity of the YSK as it has ordered recounting of votes in Istanbul after AKP’s appeals, while it has rejected HDP’s similar objections in the eastern province of Mus. Mizrakli went on claiming that the YSK’s practice was raising doubts over its impartiality.

According to unofficial results of the YSK, Hulya Alokmen Uyanik and Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli were elected co-mayors of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality, obtaining 62,93 percent of the votes.

Belgin Diken and İbrahim Cicek were elected co-mayors of Yenisehir district with 55,677 percent.

Zubeyda Zumrut and Zeyat Ceylan were elected as Baglar co-mayors, getting 70,34 percent of the votes.

Kezban Yilmaz and Necati Pirinccioglu were elected co-mayors of Kayapinar district with 66,35 percent.

Feyme Filiz Buluttekin and Cemal Ozdemir were elected as Sur district co-mayors, getting 60,76 percent of the votes in the Sunday’s local polls.

Pro-Kurdish Diyarbakir mayor-elect faces probe

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