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Turkish Electoral Committee: Eight Districts in Istanbul Must Recount Their Votes

ANKARA – The Turkish High Electoral Commission (YSK) will recount the votes in the local elections in eight Istanbul districts after the objections, YSK President Sadi Guven said Wednesday after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appealed results throughout the city, Al Jazeera reported Wednesday.
The main opposition, which had won a close victory against the ruling party (the AKP), according to preliminary results, appealed the recount, prompting the YSK to stop them Tuesday night.
Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Guven said the recount will focus on null votes, adding that it was not an unprecedented decision, calls to the YSK were still ongoing, he said.
The first results were published on Monday by the government agency Anadolu, showed that the ruling AKP party had lost the municipal elections in the three largest cities of the country – Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – at a spectacular setback for Erdogan.
The country’s electoral office gave parties three days to file their complaints, setting the deadline for Wednesday.
Anadolu’s unofficial data showed that the candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Ekrem Imamoglu, won the mayoral race in Istanbul, the largest city and economic centre of the country, with 48.8% of votes against 48.5% for AK party candidate Binali Yildirim.
In the capital, Ankara, unofficial results showed that candidate CHP Mansur Yavas won 50.9 percent of the vote, compared to 47.2 percent for AKP party candidate Mehmet Ozhaseki.
In the third city, Izmir, Mustafa Tunc Soyer, CHP candidate, was in the lead with 58% of the vote, while Nihat Zeybekci, of the AKP party, was at 38.5%.
Sunday’s local elections took place in the context of Turkey’s first recession in ten years, while its currency, the lira, had lost up to 40% of its value against the US dollar last year.
The race in Istanbul was particularly tight, with the AK party and the CHP winning the mayoral elections in Istanbul.
Yildirim said Monday morning that he had won the race with about 4,000 votes, but then confessed to being 25,000 votes behind Imamoglu of CHP, which is part of the Alliance Nation.
He said, however, that his party would oppose the results of an invalid vote.
“There are 31,136 ballot boxes [in Istanbul]. If there is an invalid vote in each ballot box, it gives a total of 31,136 votes, which is more than the difference [between the two sides],” he added. some 315,500 votes in the polls.
Sezgin Tanrikulu, a Cypriot MP from Istanbul, said that although Imamoglu won the race in Istanbul, the election committee was waiting for the end of the objection period for legal reasons, in order to declare the official winner.
“There have been complaints about certain ballot boxes, and legally the opposing party should give a valid reason for each ballot box, so the number of votes cast will be limited,” he told Al Jazeera.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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