Election appeal process continues throughout Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 06.04.2019 00:19

Following the March 31 local elections, numerous political parties continue to object the provisional results in various election districts within the given period.

In northern Bartın, the provincial election board decided yesterday to recount five out of 154 ballot boxes upon the request of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the upcoming days. The party claims that there are discrepancies between the provisional results entered in the system of Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK) and the counting reports with original signatures.

According to the provisional results, the mayor elected was Cemal Akın, a candidate of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and he won with just a 169 vote difference, leaving behind the AK Party's candidate, Yusuf Ziya Aldatmaz. Following a recounting of the votes upon the AK Party's application to the district election board on Tuesday, this difference was reduced to 149 votes. On Thursday, the MHP also applied to the province election board in eastern Turkey's Kars for the annulation votes and a renewal of elections in the city center.

The party said that citizens in the central district of Kars cast their votes under the pressures of the PKK terrorist organization, preventing the true will of people to reflect in the ballot box. The MHP also added that former students who graduated from Kafkas University situated in Kars did not change their residence registrations to cast their votes despite moving to other cities permanently.

Ayhan Bilgen, the candidate of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), was elected as Kars mayor with 29.58 percent of the votes while the MHP's candidate Çetin Nazik could only garner 26.57 percent of the votes in the province.

In Turkey's northwestern province of Kırklareli, political parties took the appeal process to the YSK after two consecutive objections. The first appeal was made to the district election board for the wrong placement of the independent candidate's name on the voting paper. The appeal request to consider these votes as valid was accepted.

The second objection to annul the decision of the district election board was accepted by the provincial election board, putting a stop to recounting of the votes. The decision was moved to YSK by the independent candidate to annul the second decision and continue to re-evaluate the votes. The third appeal was accepted by the YSK.

The independent candidate Mehmet Kesimoğlu was elected as the mayor of Kırklareli on March 31 according to provisional election results, leaving behind his rival MHP candidate Derya Bulut with a 248 vote difference. Kesimoğlu was a former member of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), but he resigned and became an independent candidate in the province after the party refused to nominate him as their mayoral candidate.

Meanwhile, the appeal processes in Yalova, a province south of Istanbul, was completed yesterday. The provincial election board had decided to re-evaluate the results upon the AK Party's objection. However, the decision yesterday was annulled by the YSK following CHP's application, revealing the definite mayor as Salman. The CHP's candidate Vefa Salman received 45.91 percent of the votes while the AK Party's candidate Yusuf Ziya Öztabak garnered 44.93 percent of the votes.

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