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Saturday April 13, 2024

Turkiye replaces Kurdish mayor with government candidate two days after vote

Zeydan, the DEM candidate in Van, won 55.5 percent of votes versus 27.2 percent for the AKP candidate

By REUTERS
April 03, 2024
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) poses with Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor candidate Murat Kurum (L) and Ankara metropolitan munucipality Mayor candidate Turgut Altinook (R) during the presentation of the Justice and Development Partys (AK Party) election manifesto at the AK Party Congress Centre in Ankara on January 30, 2024. — AFP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) poses with Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor candidate Murat Kurum (L) and Ankara metropolitan munucipality Mayor candidate Turgut Altinook (R) during the presentation of the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) election manifesto at the AK Party Congress Centre in Ankara on January 30, 2024. — AFP

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities on Tuesday prevented the newly elected mayor of a pro-Kurdish party taking up his post and announced a re-run vote in another district where President Tayyip Erdogan’s party lost, prompting legal challenges and opposition condemnation.

A document seen by Reuters from the election board in the eastern city of Van showed that the candidate who came second in that district, from Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP), would instead be handed the mandate to be mayor.

The pro-Kurdish DEM Party urged authorities to lift the ban on its winning candidate, Abdullah Zeydan, and said it would also challenge other results over what it called “illegal voters” that prevented it winning.

The challenges by DEM - parliament’s third largest party, which performed well in the mainly Kurdish southeast - mark the biggest dispute over the results of Sunday’s nationwide local vote in which Erdogan’s AKPwas trounced.

Zeydan, the DEM candidate in Van, won 55.5 percent of votes versus 27.2 percent for the AKP candidate.