A rerun of the March 31 municipal elections for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is critical and the Supreme Election Council (YSK) is obliged to thoroughly examine three suitcases of evidence submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said yesterday.
"The Supreme Election Board cannot play with the future of Turkey," Bahçeli told a party meeting in Antalya, adding that the board should carefully examine the evidence.
In relation to the irregularities in the elections, Bahçeli said on Sunday after a meeting of his party that "redoing the elections in Istanbul is a matter of national interest." Noting that the irregularities in Istanbul should not remain unaddressed, Bahçeli stressed that YSK has a historical responsibility to appropriately review the three suitcases of objection files offered by the AK Party and address these irregularities.
The AK Party had previously said its official request would list the reasons that require the elections to be redone based on evidence and documents. Some reasons include invalid or deceased people who allegedly voted in the elections, while the voter registration irregularities in Büyükçekmece district, allegedly carried out in an organized manner by civil registry personnel with affinity to the district's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Mayor Hasan Akgün, and forms the basis of the application. Moreover, the party says balloting committees in many districts were not compatible with the requirements of the law, stating that there were empty or unsigned voting records.
Bahçeli also said that the gains by the CHP in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir should not be viewed as any sign of distrust for the People's Alliance.