AKP’s Istanbul candidate Yıldırım says not interested in chasing after lost elections

Former Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayoral candidate for Istanbul Binali Yıldırım on Sunday said that it was not candidates but parties that raced in the March 31 local elections and he is not interested in pursuing the seat after a loss at the polls, left-wing news site Diken reported.

"I’m not the type of person to try to win an election that has been lost. I’ve seen higher seats than this and have taken on greater responsibilities,’’ Yıldırım said.

The ruling AKP has requested a cancellation and rerun of the Istanbul polls, where opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won by a narrow margin, with the country’s Supreme Elections Council (YSK). AKP officials have cited fraud and irregularities at the ballot boxes as the reason behind the move.

"The elections are behind us. My sensitivity is with being sure the ballots arrived where they were intended. It was not the candidates who faced off in these elections, we all know this. As such, stating that one candidate won and another lost would not be a very healthy assessment,’’ the former prime minister added.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İmamoğlu received his mayor’s certificate on April 17, 17 days after initial counts placed him as the winner of a tight race in Istanbul. 

Meanwhile, the city of 16 million is still waiting on the results of AKP’s extraordinary appeal to the country’s election council.