Turkey’s main opposition party said on Tuesday its candidate for Istanbul mayor would again contest and win the post after the election board ordered a re-run of the city election in a ruling that has spooked investors and drawn European criticism, reports Reuters.
President Tayyip Erdogan had pushed hard for the re-run after his ruling AK Party (AKP) lost control of Turkey’s biggest city in the March 31 poll and he welcomed the High Election Board’s (YSK) decision. But one opposition leader compared it to a “civilian coup” and Germany urged Ankara to respect democracy.
Highlighting the risks of a re-run for Erdogan and the AKP, several smaller opposition parties who fielded their own candidates in the March poll signalled that this time around they could back the ousted mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), a potentially significant move given the tight margin of his original victory.
CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the YSK of betraying voters’ trust and giving in to AKP pressure. He told CHP lawmakers in the Turkish parliament.
Since you want to renew the elections so badly, do so as much as you want. We will emerge victorious every time.
Meral Aksener, leader of the nationalist IYI (Good) Party, which formed an alliance with Imamoglu’s secularist CHP for the March vote, said the ruling by the seven judges of the YSK harked back to the era of Turkish military coups.
“The YSK’s decision amounts to a civilian coup which surpasses the days of the uniformed coups,” she said.