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Turkey: Opposition party favors new polls in Istanbul

New election to 'ease conscience' can be considered in Istanbul, says head of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party

Alp Ozden and Sinan Uslu   | 09.04.2019
Turkey: Opposition party favors new polls in Istanbul

ANKARA 

A do-over of recent mayoral elections in Istanbul is "wiser" than "social confusion," said the leader of a Turkish opposition party on Tuesday.

"Renewed elections are a requirement of democracy," Devlet Bahceli, the head of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), told reporters in the capital Ankara.

Bahceli, whose party formed an alliance with the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the March 31 local elections, said new polls to "ease the conscience" could be considered for Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city.

Bahceli said that objections in the wake of elections are a "democratic right," adding that they should be evaluated as soon as possible for the benefit of Turkey.

Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils for the next five years.

According to unofficial results in the Istanbul mayoral race, before any recounts, Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), led with 48.79% of the vote, ahead of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's Binali Yildirim with 48.51%.

Contesting the results, the AK Party has asked for a recount, saying the recount might change the results.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev

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