Apr 15 2019

Istanbul district recount restarts after opposition appeal denied

Updated in the first and fifth paragraphs after the Supreme Election Council rejected main opposition's appeal on second recounting

The votes in Istanbul's Maltepe district is being recounted one more time after a group of election officials of the ruling party and its alliance partners rejected results in some 400 ballot boxes which were already recounted until late Sunday, Turkish news site Artı Gerçek said on Monday. 

The vote recount in Maltepe district stopped late Sunday after some election officials of the ruling party and its alliance partners refused to sign recount reports, according to media reports. 

In a late Sunday tweet, journalist and former main opposition lawmaker Barış Yarkadaş said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally had applied to the district election board for the cancellation of the recount in 400 ballot boxes in Maltepe, a populous district on Istanbul’s Asian side.

The AKP said their election observers were not present during the recount of those 400 ballot boxes, according to Diken. The board agreed to cancel that recount and start another recount.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) appealed to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) to cancel the district election board's ruling. The second recount has started on Monday after the YSK rejected CHP's appeal. 

Preliminary results in Turkey’s March 31 election for Istanbul mayor indicated that the CHP candidate, Ekrem Imamoğlu, had won. The YSK ordered a full recount after the AKP challenged the results.

Alleging widespread fraud, the AKP plans to apply for a re-run of the Istanbul vote. The electoral council announced it would decide on the re-vote after completion of the recount.

AKP Deputy Chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz on Sunday said that his party was prepared to make an extraordinary appeal to the YSK, even if the recent confirms Imamoğlu's victory.