Turkey election body orders Istanbul vote re-run

Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu had narrowly won the race for mayor of Istanbul in Turkey's March 31 local elections, defeating ruling Islamist party candidate Binali Yildirim, a former prime minister.
Monday 06/05/2019
People walk past by AK Party billboards with pictures of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and mayoral candidate Binali Yildirim in Istanbul, Turkey, April 1, 2019. The billboards read: "Thank you Istanbul." (Reuters)
People walk past by AK Party billboards with pictures of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and mayoral candidate Binali Yildirim in Istanbul, Turkey, April 1, 2019. The billboards read: "Thank you Istanbul." (Reuters)

Turkey's top election body ordered a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral vote on Monday following the shocking defeat of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party, the state news agency reported.

The re-run was called after a meeting of the Supreme Election Board, according to the Anadolu news agency, and was confirmed by Recep Ozel, the ruling party's representative to the body.

Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu had narrowly won the race for mayor of Istanbul in Turkey's March 31 local elections, defeating ruling Islamist party candidate Binali Yildirim, a former prime minister.

Turkey's main opposition 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 Erdogan's party.

"It is illegal to win against the AK Party," main opposition CHP party Deputy Chairman Onursal Adiguzel said on Twitter. "This system that overrules the will of the people and disregards the law is neither democratic, nor legitimate. This is plain dictatorship." 

(AFP and Reuters)