The call by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to dispute the Istanbul mayoral election in March this year has cost the country’s taxpayers 40 million lira.
The Supreme Electoral Council (YSK), in response to a written inquiry by an opposition party member, said the June 23 election rerun in Istanbul cost 40,656,388 lira ($ 7.143 million).
Mustafa Tolga Ozturk, the YSK representative from the opposition Good Party (IYI), revealed the YSK’s official response through his Twitter account.
“The out-of-pocket cost of [the Turkish] public in the rerun elections for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality [IBB] mayorship is 40,656,388 lira. What a pity! What a sin!” Ozturk tweeted.
Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) received 48.77 percent of the votes while Binali Yildirim from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) gained 48.61 percent in the annulled March 31 local elections in Istanbul when the city changed hands for the first time in 25 years.
The YSK annulled the polls and made Imamoglu quit after less than three weeks in office due to ruling AKP’s appeals that included alleged voting irregularities.
Imamoglu again won the Istanbul mayoralty in the June 23 election rerun, this time by a greater margin following the public reaction to the annulment of the March 31 vote by the YSK, garnering more than 54 percent of the votes.
Almost all opposition parties backed Imamoglu during the annulled March 31 and the rerun June 23 votes.