Nope. No Attempt to Overturn the Will of the Voters Here

Turkey’s election board announced Monday that it was invalidating the results of Istanbul’s mayoral race, which had dealt President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party a stinging defeat. A new election will be held late next month, the board said.

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, had appealed for the cancellation of the March 31 vote over what it deemed irregularities. The election board ruled Monday that some polling officials overseeing that race were not civil servants, in violation of the law, according to Turkey’s state-run news ­agency.

Results last month showed that an opposition challenger, Ekrem Imamoglu, had narrowly defeated Binali Yildirim, the AKP mayoral candidate, in the Istanbul race. Erdogan’s party also suffered rare losses in local elections in several other cities, including Ankara, Turkey’s capital.

The AKP’s extraordinary appeal to redo the Istanbul election immediately drew criticism that Erdogan and his party were willing to undermine confidence in Turkey’s democracy to serve a narrow goal: retaining control of Turkey’s largest city, along with the financial and patronage networks that have benefited the AKP over decades.

Let’s be clear here:  We are going to see all the powers of the state trying to tilt this election in favor of the AKP candidate.

They cannot afford to lose the patronage in Istanbul city government.

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