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'New Istanbul polls not for any party’s benefit’

‘This issue is not about protecting the interests of the AK Party or another party,’ says spokesman Omer Celik

Fatih Hafız Mehmet, Murat Paksoy and Etem Geylan   | 07.05.2019
'New Istanbul polls not for any party’s benefit’


The decision to rerun local elections in Istanbul was not aimed at safeguarding any party’s interests, the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party said Monday.

Speaking at a press conference at party headquarters, Omer Celik said the Supreme Election Council (YSK) did not announce another winner of the mayoral elections but ordered that they be rerun due to some irregularities.

"This issue is not about protecting the interests of the AK Party or another party," Celik said.

He added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also welcomed the decision.

However, the YSK’s decision was condemned by Ekrem Imamoglu from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) who narrowly won the mayor’s race for Istanbul in March 31 local elections but whose mayoral certificate was cancelled by the YSK.

Speaking at an event in Istanbul, Imamoglu said he will meet with the head of his party and other party executives and will take the "most correct" decision.

"Nobody should have doubt about that," he said.

Imamoglu added that they will surprise those who expect trouble and unpleasantness from them.

The YSK on Monday announced that a do-over election in Istanbul would be held on June 23.

The council members accepted the AK Party's objection to the 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.

*Murat Paksoy and Etem Geylan contributed from Istanbul

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