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Apr 09 2019

Erdoğan’s governing party seeks İstanbul election re-run

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) said it would demand the election for Istanbul mayor is re-run.

The AKP will ask the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) to take the measure because of voting irregularities in the Istanbul district of Buyukcekmece, deputy party leader Ali Ihsan Yavuz said in televised comments on Tuesday.

Turkish opposition politician Ekrem İmamoğlu won the election on March 31, according to preliminary results announced by the YSK. A recount of invalidated votes, requested by the AKP, has since narrowed his preliminary margin of victory to about 15,000 votes from 28,000.

Erdoğan said on Monday that theft had taken place at ballot boxes in the city. Turkish police moved into Buyukcemece on Tuesday to investigate AKP claims that voters had been registered there illegally.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Tuesday echoed Erdoğan's statements, saying another election in Istanbul would eliminate doubts over the March 31 results hours after the AKP said it would appeal for a re-run of the city’s local vote.

"For debate about the election to be left behind, one of the steps to be taken...is for it to be repeated," Soylu told reporters.