The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) announced on Friday that they found a repeated “irregularity” relating to the upcoming rerun election in Istanbul, which was the exact reason for the March 31 local poll to be annulled by Turkey’s election authority.
Canan Kaftancioglu, CHP’s Istanbul district executive, claims that her party has detected four ballot box officials in Istanbul’s Beykoz district who, contrary to the law, are not civil servants, an irregularity that served as the basis for the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) to annul the Istanbul vote results on May 6.
In contradiction, Binali Yildirim, candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul, defined the repeated irregularity a “normal” situation.
Following CHP’s narrowly-won mayorship on March 31, the YSK decided to rerun the mayoral election in Istanbul on the grounds that some ballot box officials were not public servants, which drew rebuff among dissidents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
CHP’s Kaftancioglu condemned the YSK members for the replication of the faulty conduct, emphasizing their irresponsibility.
“They [the YSK judges] appointed the ballot box committees [officials]. They annulled the elections, saying those officials were not civil servants. Now, again, they appointed ballot box officials for the June 23 [rerun elections] who are not public servants,” said Kaftancioglu.
The CHP executive added that they had reported the Beykoz irregularity to the District Election Board and that they were monitoring all-district lists of polling officials as Friday was the last day to appeal to the boards. AKP’s Yildirim responded to the query regarding the CHP-detected irregularity, saying, “Well, CHP, appeal [the irregularity] and [make the YSK] correct it.
Previously, the lists of polling officials were not shared with political parties. However, now the YSK provides the parties with lists to correct and prevent past errors, and the parties can change the irregularities. This is a normal situation.”
Yildirim was also questioned about the possibility of a second rerun if it was found, again, that some appointed polling officials were not civil servants.
“There will be no such thing. There is still time to change [the lists for ballot box officials]. They [CHP] object to it. In Istanbul, there are sevenfold more public officials than needed,” Yildirim replied.