Turkey’s top electoral authority has rejected a request by the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a full recount of votes in the Istanbul mayoral race.

The Supreme Electoral Board has, however, allowed a recount of 51 ballot boxes in Istanbul’s 21 districts, Recep Ozel, a member of the board from the ruling party, told reporters early on Tuesday.

He said the board has still to rule on a demand for a rerun of the vote in the district of Buyukcekmece, where the ruling party says numerous voters were wrongly registered.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures while speaking during his and Russian President Vladimir Putin joint news conference following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures while speaking during his and Russian President Vladimir Putin joint news conference following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, suffered a major setback in the country’s March 31 local elections. Opposition candidates won in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, and squeezed out the ruling party in Istanbul, where Erdogan rose to power as mayor and which has been governed by his party and its Islamist predecessor for the last 25 years.

The AKP has demanded a recount, maintaining that the elections were marred by irregularities and alleged “organized crimes.” The opposition denounced the claims as a ploy to secure a rerun and has called on Erdogan to concede that his party lost.

AKP deputy chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz said Tuesday the party would file an appeal to challenge the electoral authority’s rejection of a full recount.

“It is incomprehensible how such a decision was taken given that there is so much irregularity,” Yavuz said on Twitter.

The electoral board is expected to confirm the election’s result at the end of the week.

On Tuesday, police were carrying out inspections at addresses around the Buyukcekmece district were voters were allegedly falsely registered, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.