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Turkey calls on US not to interfere in municipal elections results

Scrutineers count votes following the local elections in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 March 2019 [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency]
Scrutineers count votes following the local elections in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 March 2019 [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has called on the United States to respect the local elections results and not to interfere in the legal process.

This came after US State Department deputy spokesperson, Robert Palladino, called on Turkey to accept the local elections results.

“Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy. That means acceptance of legitimate election results, which is essential,” Palladino said.

“We expect nothing less from Turkey, which has a long proud tradition in this respect,” he added.

In response, the Turkish Presidency’s Communications Director, Professor Fahrettin Altun, called on all parties, including foreign countries to respect the legal process of the Turkish elections “and refrain from taking any steps that may be construed as meddling in Turkey’s internal affairs”.

READ: In the Muslim world, free elections mean Islamist victories

“The Turkish people have expressed their will through the ballot box for 70 years. The authorities have a responsibility to ensure that elections are free and fair,” he added on Twitter.

Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide in the local elections to choose Turkey’s mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighbourhood officials), and members of elder councils for the next five years.

According to unofficial results, the ruling AK Party is leading in 15 metropolitan municipalities and 24 smaller cities.

Meanwhile, Mansur Yavas, the opposition CHP’s mayoral candidate in the capital Ankara, is leading with 50.91 per cent of votes, according to unofficial results, with the AK Party’s Mehmet Ozhaseki at 47.1 per cent.

The AK Party has challenged poll results Ankara and Istanbul and a recount is underway.

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