Turkey‘s High Election Board (YSK) has rejected bids by opposition parties to annul local elections in 39 Istanbul districts, as well as last year’s nationwide elections, following last week’s decision to strip the opposition of its victory in the March 31 mayoral race.

On May 6, the YSK ordered a rerun of the mayoral election for Istanbul, citing irregularities in the appointment of polling station officials, but did not cancel votes for district administrators, mayors, and municipal councils in the metropolis.

The decision came after appeals by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s Justice and Development (AK) Party, claiming some officials overseeing the election were not civil servants, as required by law.

In response, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and its ally Iyi (Good) Party argued that all the other votes in Istanbul, as well as Erdogan’s parliamentary and presidential victory last year, should also be annulled because the same flaws took place in those elections.

They said all the votes in the March polls were cast in the same envelopes and counted by the same officials. The board rejected the argument.

CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu had won the Istanbul mayoral race by a slim margin, while the AK Party won a majority of district mayor and administrator posts and in municipal councils.


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