Istanbul to have meter-long ballot paper in local elections

Istanbul residents will be handed a meter-long ballot paper in the March 31 local elections. The megacity has the largest ballot paper in the country, which fits 22 political parties and 27 independent candidates for the metropolitan municipality vote. 

Photo by TRT News

Duvar English

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality ballot was revealed to be almost one meter long, as Turkey’s high electoral council (YSK) started to print the ballots for the upcoming local elections. 

The voters will enter the cabin with four separate ballots for metropolitan and district municipalities, the municipal council, and the neighborhood head posts. The ballot for the Istanbul metropolitan municipality features 22 party and 27 independent candidates. 

Istanbul voters will have to navigate the meter-long ballot to cast their votes for mayor. 

The race for Istanbul mayor comes down to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Murat Kurum, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) incumbent candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party candidates Meral Danış Beştaş and Murat Çepni. 

Recent polls show a close race between İmamoğlu and Kurum and expect DEM Party votes to be decisive. 

The shortest ballot will be 4.5 centimeters long for the single AKP candidate for the Hilal township in the eastern Şırnak province. 

Some 24 candidates will race for the capital Ankara mayorship, five of which are independent candidates. The Aegean İzmir province, CHP’s stronghold,  will have 27 candidates running for mayor. 

Out of the 30 metropolitan municipalities in Turkey, only the eastern Erzurum, southeastern Şanlıurfa, and Aegean Manisa do not have independent candidates running for mayorship.  

The order in which the party candidates appeared on the ballots was determined by a Jan. 31 draw.