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Erdogan: public wants do-over of Istanbul polls

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan casts his vote at a polling station during local elections in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 March, 2019 [Ahmet Bolat/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan casts his vote at a polling station during local elections in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 March, 2019 [Ahmet Bolat/Anadolu Agency]

Due to a “blemish” in March’s local elections in Istanbul, Turkey’s metropolis of 16 million people, the public wants a do-over election, said Turkey’s president on Saturday, reports Anadolu Agency.

“My citizens tell me this; My president, this election should be done again,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Istanbul, at the opening ceremony of a new headquarters for the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD).

Correcting the corruption in the elections would vindicate the Supreme Election Council (YSK) and relieve the hearts of the Turkish people, he added.

“All our efforts are towards giving the value of the nation’s vote back to the nation,” said Erdogan, also leader of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, adding that they do not want the Istanbul polls lost to irregularities and illegalities.

READ: Erdogan’s AKP lodges second call for rerun of Istanbul election

Millions of voters cast their votes nationwide in the March 31 local elections to choose Turkey’s mayors, city council members, and other officials for the next five years.

Ekrem Imamoglu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) last month officially took office as Istanbul mayor. However, his election still faces legal challenges from the AK Party.

Erdogan has rebuffed rumours that the AK Party had given up hope on the Istanbul results, stating that the party will continue its legal struggle.

OPINION: Turkey’s fragile local election

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