Legal action against Turkey's top electoral board members over rerun decision of mayoral vote

Turkey's State Council (Danıştay), the highest administrative court in the country, has launched legal action against seven members of the top election authority who voted in favour of a rerun of Istanbul mayoral elections over an appeal by a former main opposition lawmaker.

Atilla Kart, lawyer and former MP of the secular main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), announced on Sunday that the State Council accepted his appeal and took action against seven members of the Supreme Election Council (YSK).

CHP's Istanbul mayoral candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu was declared winner of the March 31 mayoral election in Istanbul, but the YSK later ordered a redo to be held on June 23 after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) objected to the result citing what it said were irregularities. 

The YSK ruled seven against four in favour and annulled the results of the March 31 mayoral election in Istanbul, arguing that 3,755 polling officials were not government employees. 

The opposition called the rerun decision a “coup” against democracy, which has raised the stakes for round two.

Following the YSK decision, Kart on May 17 launched the legal challenge to both the State Council and the Supreme Court (Yargıtay) regarding the seven YSK members, accusing them of "harming the honour of (judgeship) profession" and demanded their dismissal from the profession.

Despite the State Council's legal action against the YSK members, alleged by Kart, millions of Istanbul residents are heading to the polling stations on Sunday in a rerun of a mayoral election.