Votes being recounted in Istanbul’s Gaziosmanpaşa where CHP won by thin margin

With the local electoral boards' decisions, the votes are being recounted in Istanbul’s Gaziosmanpaşa district, where the main opposition CHP won by a thin margin.

Duvar English

The local electoral boards on April 3 ordered a recount of the votes in Istanbul’s Beykoz and Gaziosmanpaşa districts.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won the Beykoz municipality by around 1,400 votes according to unofficial results, whereas the Gaziosmanpaşa municipality by around 900 votes.

After the thin margins, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which was in second place in both districts, applied to the local electoral boards, arguing invalid votes were higher than the difference between the two parties. 

In Beykoz, the provincial election board overturned the decision of the district board, and ordered a recount, CHP Istanbul head Özgür Çelik said. 

“In Arnavutköy, Ümraniye, Fatih, Bahçelievler, and Pendik, we expect our objections rejected by the district election boards to be overturned by the provincial election board and a recount to be ordered. Otherwise, this decision is a double standard resulting from political pressure, and is unacceptable!,” he said, reminding that the CHP also applied for recounts.

However, the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on April 4 canceled the recounting decision before it started in Beykoz, the CHP sources said.

In Gaziosmanpaşa, the AKP argued that there were about 10 times as many invalid votes as the difference between the winning candidate and the runner-up.

As of April 4, 11.42 a.m., the CHP Gaziosmanpaşa district branch said 400 ballot boxes have been recounted and the vote difference remains at 935.

It also said the AKP members were “objecting unlawfully” and trying to “break out a fight.”

The recount process will start on April 4 in Beykoz.

In the March 31st local elections, the main opposition CHP has unexpectedly become the leading party in Turkey for the first time since 1977. According to unofficial results, the CHP won 26 district municipalities in Istanbul, out of 39, assuming offices in several AKP strongholds.

In the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the CHP, has been re-elected with a 12 percent difference.