Turkey's Istanbul ruling party mayoral candidate said Monday that it was "clear" that his votes had been stolen and registered to his opponent during the country’s latest local elections last month.
Justice and Development (AK) Party candidate Binali Yildirim told reporters in a press conference that it was the Supreme Election Council (YSK) that would make the final decision on Istanbul's local polls held on March 31.
"We must patiently wait until the Supreme Election Council declares the mayor of Istanbul," said Yildirim.
Criticizing his opponent Ekrem Imamoglu of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Yildirim said it was too early to celebrate a victory at a time when the legal proceedings on the election results were ongoing at the YSK.
Yildirim slammed Imamoglu's messages to foreign governments asking them to pressure the YSK to give him the mandate as soon as possible.
"Reaching out to foreign governments, asking them to pressure Turkey is abhorred by Turkish people. As a Turkish metropolis, Istanbul cannot be run by mayor who comes to office through rigged elections," said Yildirim.
According to unofficial results Ekrem Imamoglu led the Istanbul mayoral race with 48.79% of the vote prior to all recounts, ahead of AK Party's Binali Yildirim at 48.51%.
Contesting the results after "organized irregularities" surfaced, AK Party has asked for a recount, saying this may change the results.
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