Turkey, Politics

Turkey: Top election body to investigate 41,000+ voters

Decision comes after ruling AK Party’s objection to Istanbul poll results

Aylin Sirikli   | 23.04.2019
Turkey: Top election body to investigate 41,000+ voters


Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK) will investigate over 41,000 ineligible voters following a contest by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party to the Istanbul poll results of last month's mayoral election.

On Tuesday, the YSK held a meeting to discuss the ruling party’s extraordinary appeal to cancel the election results in Istanbul.

In its interim decision, the top election authority announced that it decided to probe 41,132 voters of the March 31 elections, as well as the presiding officers and polling station staffs who are not civil servants.

Last week, the ruling party claimed that 41,132 people had voted despite being ineligible to cast vote in the elections according to the country's election law.

The ineligible voters included deceased people as well as those behind bars and mentally retarded.

The AK Party claimed this number would change the Istanbul mayoral election results in their favor where the main opposition party candidates won by around 13,000 votes.

The election body said it would investigate the issue and also examine where this irregularities might change the result. Then the YSK will deliver its final decision.

Meanwhile, the election body also concluded that the voters who had been dismissed from their post with a statutory decree were eligible to vote, rejecting the ruling party's complain on the issue.

On Saturday, the AK Party appealed to the YSK to declare the sacked public servants as ineligible to vote.

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.

Despite Ekrem Imamoglu, of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, officially taking office as Istanbul mayor, his election still faces legal challenges from the AK party, citing illegalities at the polls. 

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic

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