Re-run election to be held on June 23, says Supreme Election Council
Turkish Foreign Ministry says Council of Europe was 'impressed' by proficiency of Supreme Election Council during polls
Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) on Monday announced that a do-over election in Istanbul will be held on June 23.
The council members accepted the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's objection to the local election results in Istanbul with seven votes in favor and four against.
According to the YSK, the decision was taken as some presiding officers and polling staffs, who are supposed to be civil servants as per Turkish law, served during the elections.
The YSK has decided to file a criminal complaint against the chairman and members of the district election council, election managers and other persons responsible for appointing polling staffs unlawfully.
The mayoral certificate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party's (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu has also been cancelled by the council.
“With this decision, our demand for re-election has been vindicated,'' said Recep Ozel, AK Party's YSK representative.
The YSK has also rejected objections to election results in Istanbul's Maltepe and Buyukcekmece districts.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently chairing his party’s Central Executive Board’s (MYK) extraordinary meeting at the party’s headquarters.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will hold extraordinary assembly meeting on Tuesday under the chairmanship of the party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members, and other officials for the next five years.
‘Decision to rerun Istanbul elections based on law’
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said late Monday that the decision to rerun local elections in Istanbul was taken on the basis of law and everyone should respect it.
In a written statement, the ministry said the March 31 local elections were observed by a delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, who said they were "impressed by the proficiency” of the Supreme Election Council (YSK).
The statement said the YSK had assessed the appeals lodged by use of legal rights concerning various provinces and towns and had passed decisions, and while the YSK rejected some of the appeals, it concluded to rerun the elections in Istanbul.
"Everyone should respect this decision that was taken on the basis of law. We do not accept politically motivated criticism by some of our foreign interlocutors regarding this decision and the Supreme Election Council," it said.
The statement said Turkey has already proven its democratic maturity.
"The decision of the independent Supreme Election Council aims at ensuring the manifestation of the will of the electorate without any doubt," it added.
The YSK on Monday announced that a do-over election in Istanbul would be held on June 23.
The council members accepted the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's objection to election results, with seven votes in favor and four against.
The YSK said earlier that the decision was taken as some ballot committee members who served during the elections were not civil servants as required by law.