AK Party challenges 'organized crime' in Istanbul polls

Turkey’s ruling party sought vote recount in Istanbul mayoral polls against irregularities, says President Erdogan

Faruk Zorlu, Sena Guler   | 08.04.2019
AK Party challenges 'organized crime' in Istanbul polls


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party had applied to top election body against “organized crime” in Istanbul mayoral polls.

"We, as the political party, have detected an organized crime and some organized activities," Erdogan told reporters ahead of his departure from Istanbul for Moscow.

Erdogan, who is also the chairman of the AK Party, said the citizens also asserted to have observed “some organized crimes” in the Istanbul polls of March 31 local elections.

The AK Party submitted this information and video camera footage while applying to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) to contest the results, he added.

Erdogan also said there was not just one irregularity, but many irregularities over the local poll results.

"Election process is completed, the next process is judicial process," the president said, adding that the YSK is the authority to have the last say.

Turkey is not the only country seeking vote recount after polls, Erdogan said.

There were times when the U.S. also contested the election results for a 1% gap between candidates.

Erdogan reiterated his vow that the ruling AK Party will respect the decision of top election body.

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

According to unofficial results, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu leads Istanbul with 48.79% of the votes, whereas Binali Yildirim of AK Party follows with 48.51% of the votes.

However, the AK Party has said a recount might change the results, and contested the results.

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