CAPTION: The Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) on Wednesday ordered that individuals sacked by an emergency decree during purges after a 2016 failed coup could not take up their posts despite being elected – (File/AFP) CAPTION: The Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) on Wednesday ordered that individuals sacked by an emergency decree during purges after a 2016 failed coup could not take up their posts despite being elected – (File/AFP)

Pro-Kurdish party slams Erdogan ban on elected mayors taking office

Thu, Apr. 11, 2019
CAIRO – 11 April 2019: Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party on Thursday hit out at electoral authorities for blocking some of its successful candidates from taking office after a March 31 local vote.

The Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) on Wednesday ordered that individuals sacked by an emergency decree during purges after a 2016 failed coup could not take up their posts despite being elected, DHA news agency reported.

The candidate who came second would be able to serve in the post instead, DHA said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has often accused the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of ties with PKK Kurdish militants, a charge the party denies.

The HDP said the YSK decision affects many candidates who had already been authorized to stand in the ballot by the same electoral council.

“This step taken by the YSK is part of a deliberate political conspiracy, nothing else” by the ruling AKP and its coalition nationalist MHP partner, HDP spokesman Saruhan Oluc told reporters in Ankara.

The HDP cannot challenge the YSK’s move or even take the council to court, Oluc said, but urged the YSK to reverse the decision.“Show respect to the people’s will,” he said.

Erdogan said irregularities in Istanbul’s local elections, such as the appointment of ballot box officials, should lead to the annulment of the vote, the pro-government Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Initial results show the main opposition Republican People’s Party narrowly won control of Turkey’s biggest city in the mayoral elections, seemingly bringing an end to the 25-year rule there by Erdogan’s AK Party and its Islamist predecessors.

Speaking to reporters on his plane, returning from a trip to Moscow this week, Erdogan said that regulations requiring that ballot box officials be civil servants had not been met everywhere, with regular workers placed in charge in some places.

“Our colleagues have established this. Naturally, all this casts doubt. If they take a sincere view, this will lead to annulment,” he said.

Any decision to annul the elections would rest with the High Election Board.

A senior AKP official said on Tuesday it would demand a new vote in Istanbul after its bid was rejected for a citywide recount of the March 31 election results after a series of recounts since the vote.

Erdogan said on Monday the local elections were marred by “organized crime” at ballot boxes in Istanbul. The loss of control in the city would be a setback for Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than 16 years.

 
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