by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
Turkish authorities on Monday (May 6) scrapped the result of a vote for Istanbul mayor lost by President Tayyip Erdogan’s candidate, responding to calls by his AK Party for a re-run, in a move that hit the lira and drew opposition accusations of “dictatorship.”
The High Election Board ruled that a fresh Istanbul mayoral contest will be held on June 23. The AK Party representative on the board, Recep Ozel, said the decision was based on unsigned results documents from the March 31 election and on some ballot box officials not being civil servants.
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which narrowly won the mayor’s office in the country’s largest city, called the ruling a “plain dictatorship.”
Ekrem Imamoglu, the CHP mayor who officially took office after a smattering of recounts were completed across Istanbul last month, also condemned the YSK for annulling the results under AKP pressure.
Reuters witnesses said people were banging on pots and pans in protest against the ruling in several Istanbul districts.
The AKP had 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.
It was a shock loss for Erdogan, who in the 1990s served as the city’s mayor and had campaigned hard ahead of the nationwide local vote, his first electoral test since last year’s sharp currency crisis tipped the Turkish economy into recession.
Turkey held a re-run of general elections in 2015 when the AK Party failed for the first time since its founding to form a single-party government. In a repeat election, AK Party found the support to form it again. (REUTERS)
Turks expressed differing opinions on Tuesday (August 14) after President Tayyip Erdogancalled on the nation to boycott electronic products from the United States, particularly iPhones, retaliating in a dispute with Washington that has helped drive the lira to record lows.
Hours after Erdogan‘s call, iPhone user Ayse Orga bought a new phone for herself at a bazaar selling electronics. Shopkeeper Umit Yilmaz voiced support for Orga.
“I have a 16-year-old daughter. Take her iPhone away from her, if you can,” Yilmaz said.
Another shopkeeper, Arif Simsek disagreed.
“We fully support this decision. We supported him with our lives on July 15 and now we will support him with our goods,” Simsek said, referring to the failed coup attempt in July 2016.
The lira has lost more than 40 percent this year and crashed to an all-time low of 7.24 to the dollar early on Monday (August 13), hit by worries over Erdogan‘s calls for lower interest rates and worsening ties with the United States.
The weakness of the Turkish currency has rippled through global markets. Its drop of as much as 18 percent on Friday (August 10) hit U.S. and European stocks as investors fretted about banks’ exposure to Turkey.
Erdogan says Turkey is the target of an economic war and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency. — Reuters
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Istanbul, Turkey June 24, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS
Turkey’s main opposition party attacked the state-run media on Sunday (June 24) for its coverage of parliamentary and presidential elections, saying it was attempting to manipulate the public’s perception of the polls.
Support for President Tayyip Erdogan would be below the majority required to win the race in the first round, Bulent Tezcan, the spokesman for Republican People’s Party (CHP), told a news conference in Ankara.
Preliminary results from state-run news agency Anadolu showed Erdogan had 55.08 percent of the vote with 70.5 percent of the ballots counted in presidential election.
Muharrem Ince, the main opposition’s presidential candidate, stood at 29.4 percent nationwide, television channels said.
If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in Sunday’s vote, a second round run-off will be held on July 8. —Reuters
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