Erdogan calls for annulment of Istanbul election

Supporters of candidate of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu hold Turkish flags during a rally after the local elections in Istanbul, Turkey, 8 April 2019. According to preliminary results, CHP candidate for Istanbul mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, beat the AKP candidate Binali Yildirim, by 25,000 votes in what was viewed as a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on power, as the ruling party, an Islamist conservative outfit, also lost the capital, Ankara. [Erdem Sahin/EPA/EFE]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said electoral authorities should annul Istanbul’s local elections due to irregularities, notably over the appointment of ballot box officials, the pro-government Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday (10 April).

Initial results show the main opposition Republican People’s Party narrowly won control of Turkey’s biggest city in the mayoral elections, seemingly bringing an end to the 25-year rule there by Erdoğan’s AK Party and its Islamist predecessors.

Erdogan loses hold over Ankara and Istanbul, blames it on the economy

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suffered a severe setback as his ruling AK Party lost control of the capital Ankara for the first time in a local election and he appeared to concede defeat in the country’s largest city, Istanbul.

Speaking to reporters on his plane, returning from a trip to Moscow this week, Erdoğan said that regulations requiring that ballot box officials be civil servants had not been met everywhere, with regular workers placed in charge in some places.

“Our colleagues have established this. Naturally all this casts doubt. If they take a sincere view, this will lead to annulment,” he said.

Any decision to annul the elections would rest with the High Election Board.

A senior AKP official said on Tuesday it would demand a new vote in Istanbul after its bid was rejected for a citywide recount of the 31 March election results after a series of recounts since the vote.

Erdogan's AK Party to seek recount of all Istanbul votes

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AK Party is seeking a full recount of all votes cast in local elections in Istanbul, a senior party official said on Sunday (7 April), a week after initial results showed a narrow victory for Turkey’s main opposition party.

Erdoğan said on Monday the local elections were marred by “organized crime” at ballot boxes in Istanbul. The loss of control in the city would be a setback for Erdoğan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than 16 years.

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