CHP finds 3000+ votes cast in name of dead citizens in quake-hit Hatay

Turkey’s main opposition CHP has contested AKP’s victory in the Hatay municipal elections, stating it detected 3,389 votes cast in the name of citizens reported dead. The YSK had denied the party’s plea to hold the elections again and presented AKP with the municipal mandate. 

Duvar English

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkey’s main opposition, on April 7 claimed that it discovered upon a recount that 3,389 of the votes in the local elections belonged to deceased individuals in the southeastern Hatay province.

The party held a press conference after contesting the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) official Hatay victory at the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) in Ankara. 

The Municipal Electoral Board on April 6 presented the AKP candidate with the mandate of mayorship despite the ongoing contestations by the CHP.

According to official results, the AKP candidate had won in the metropolitan municipality with 2,569 votes. 

“We expect the YSK to be transparent, and decide without regard to the party contesting,” said General Secretary Selin Sayek Böke during the press statement after the meeting. 

The party requested to re-hold the elections after 3,389 voters were discovered to be among those who died in the Feb. 6 earthquakes that ravaged the province. 

“Today, we filed a complaint against the mayoral mandate granted to the AKP’s candidate during an ongoing contestation process,” declared the party. 

It has presented the YSK with an 86-page report detailing the discovery of dead voters.

The YSK is expected to present an opinion on the CHP’s application on April 8. 

The CHP nominated incumbent mayor Savaş despite controversy and disapproval surrounding the candidate.

Hatay constituents were dissatisfied with his performance in the aftermath of the Feb. 6 earthquakes and found him responsible for the problematic construction licensing in the province. 

Although the party said it would take the quake-stricken public’s grievances about Savaş, it refused to field an alternative candidate saying it would “risk” losing control of the province. 

Savaş's unpopularity was reflected on the ballot as his vote share shrunk by 11 percent from the local elections of 2019. 

Hatay was struck the hardest in the earthquakes of 2023. Some 25,000 people died and over 30,000 were injured.