Erdogan warns ruling party members to be ready for re-run in Istanbul mayoral election

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered his party officials to be ready for a re-run election in Istanbul, daily Turkiye reported on Monday.

Speaking to Istanbul district mayors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who were elected in the March 31 municipal election, Erdogan said they would concede to whatever the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) would decide on AKP’s appeal, asking for a re-run election in Istanbul.

Since the YSK has yet to decide, the president warned AKP mayors to be prepared for a possible re-run.

“Do carry on your works, as if there will be an election any time,” said Erdogan.

In response to Erdogan’s ‘get ready’ message, Ekrem Imamoglu, Istanbul mayor from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said the city which is home to some 16 million people was happy with the election results. He called on the YSK to immediately deliver its pending decision on AKP’s appeal.

“I think the time has come. There should be no further delay. It will be in Turkey’s best interest that the process comes to an end and the country can return to its regular matters and routine,” T24 news quoted Imamoglu as saying.

The CHP mayor said the YSK should eliminate all question marks as soon as possible.

On the same day, Recep Ozel, AKP representative in the YSK claimed that the YSK was waiting for the decisions of Istanbul district election boards, which are 39 in total. The YSK would then start its examination on 39 board decisions in a bid to reach a final rule, according to Ozel.

YSK is expected to decide on the AKP appeal by the end of this week.

After Imamoglu’s electoral victory as a mayor in Istanbul, AKP filed numerous appeals for vote recounts across Istanbul. The YSK approved some of those objections, ordering partial or full recounts in several districts.

As a result of the recounts, the initial 28000 vote margin between the CHP and AKP dropped to 13900.

Based on this decline AKP submitted a 44-page extraordinary objection to the YSK on April 16 in order to cancel and repeat the election in Istanbul.

A day later, CHP’s Imamoglu received his official mandate to serve as Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor.

If the YSK accepts the appeal for the annulment and renewal of the Istanbul polls, a second election will take place on June 2.

AKP’s Istanbul candidate says he will not fight to win after losing the election

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