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World

AFP
April 8, 2019

Erdogan's party to demand total recount of Istanbul ballots

World

AFP
Mon, Apr 08, 2019

Istanbul: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan´s party said Sunday it had asked for a recount of all ballots cast in Istanbul, the country´s economic capital, during last week´s mayoral election after an opposition candidate claimed a slender win.

The vice-president of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ali Ihsan Yavuz made the demand for a recount going beyond one already under way.

The AKP won most votes nationwide in last Sunday´s election, but results showed the ruling party lost Ankara and was also narrowly defeated in Istanbul in what would be one of their worst setbacks in a decade and a half in power.

"Today, we are going to take our case to the provincial branch of the YSK (supreme election board) to recount all the votes from all the (Istanbul) districts," said AKP vice-president Ali Ihsan Yavuz.

Electoral authorities are already conducting a recount in scores of districts in Ankara and in Istanbul, where tallies showed the opposition CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu just edged out the AKP, represented by political heavyweight and former prime minister Binali Yildirim.

But those were of votes declared void. The AKP requested a recount of all the Ankara votes, but the YSK on Sunday rejected that request for 13 out of 25 districts, the state news agency Anadolu reported.

On Saturday, party spokesman Omer Celik insisted the AKP would accept recount results in Istanbul as well as Ankara, no matter which party is declared the winner.

Losing Istanbul, home to around one in five Turks, would be a blow to Erdogan, who built his political career as mayor of the city before becoming prime minister and later president.

Most of the ballots currently being recounted are those which were listed as void in the March 31 poll.