Turkey to re-run Istanbul election lost by Erdogan's AK Party

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 6, 2019 - Duration: 02:12s

Turkey to re-run Istanbul election lost by Erdogan's AK Party

Turkey's main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, said on Monday it was a "plain dictatorship" that had decided on a re-run of local elections in Istanbul, after the election board decided to annul vote results showing a painful defeat for President Tayyip Erdogan's party.

Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Turkey to re-run Istanbul election lost by Erdogan's AK Party

Turkey’s High Election Board has decided to annul the results of a recent local election that saw a painful defeat for President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party.

Citing issues on election day, the board made the official announcement Monday night, and said a second vote for the Mayor of Istanbul would take place on June 23.

Turkey’s main opposition blasted the move... saying it was effort by Erdogan to overrule the will of the people and that his government was a quote: ‘plain dictatorship.’ Reuters correspondent, Jonathan Spicer is in Istanbul: (SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, JONATHAN SPICER, SAYING: "Already tonight we have had members of the main opposition CHP party say effectively that that members of the electoral board were pressured by the AK Party to to rule this way.

We've had outside analysts and even the representative of the European Parliament say there was some pressure on the electoral board to rule in favor of the AK Party." Erdogan’s ruling AK Party appealed for an election re-run after initial results and a series of recounts showed it had lost control of Istanbul for the first time in 25 years.

A particularly painful loss for Erdogan - who had served as the city's mayor in the 1990s and had campaigned hard ahead of the vote, his first electoral test since last year's currency crisis tipped the Turkish economy into recession.

(SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, JONATHAN SPICER, SAYING: "Now holding a re-run of this election is full of risks for Erdogan.

Number one: he doesn't know whether he would win in in a rerun.

And in the meantime you have an increasingly fragile Turkish lira overhanging an economy that is in quite a bad recession right now.

So you could have any number of outside factors unexpected say U.S. sanctions come into play and really tip the lira over the edge." The Turkish lira weakened on the news of an election re-run.

It’s tumbled 10 percent in recent months.

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