Erdoğan’s ruling AKP to file  ‘extraordinary appeal’ over Istanbul polls

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz on Sunday said that the party is preparing to make an extraordinary appeal to the country’s election council over March 31 local elections poll results in the city of Istanbul.

“We said we would ‘request a do-over of the Istanbul elections by using our right of extraordinary appeal.’ Our preparations have been, to the most extent, completed. We will submit our petition to Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) council very soon,” the chairman said in a Twitter post.

The announcement by the AKP official arrives amid an ongoing recount of invalidated votes demanded by the AKP remains underway 14 days after the polls, where opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu is the lead by over 13,963 votes.

The AKP is now planning to increase its push for a rerun of polls for the post of mayor of Istanbul, home to some 15 million people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday the March 31 local elections had been marred by "organised crime" at ballot boxes in Istanbul, which has been ruled by the AKP and its predecessor since 1994.

The AKP suffered defeats in five of the six most populous provinces in the country on March 31, in what is being seen as the biggest defeat of the Islamist party at the polls since it came into power 17 years ago.

CHP's Imamoğlu on Sunday called on the YSK to present him with certification making his victory official, independent news site T24 reported.

"Don’t prolong this process,’’ İmamoğlu said, addressing the YSK."The more you elongate the process, the more of a problem you are having. Problems [continue to] arise.’’