Bids to annul Erdogan’s 2018 election victory rejected

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters in Istanbul. (AFP)
Updated 14 May 2019
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Bids to annul Erdogan’s 2018 election victory rejected

  • After weeks of appeals by the AKP and its nationalist MHP ally, the election board ruled last week for a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election which the CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu won by a narrow margin

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s High Election Board (YSK) has rejected bids by opposition parties to annul all votes in the Istanbul local elections, as well as last year’s nationwide elections, broadcaster NTV said on Monday.

The YSK last week ordered a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election, citing irregularities in the appointment of polling station officials after appeals by President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP), but did not cancel votes for district administrators, mayors, and municipal councils.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Iyi (Good) Party argued that if the mayoral vote — which the CHP won — was canceled then all the other votes in Istanbul, as well as Erdogan’s victory in a presidential election last year, should also be annulled because the same flaws took place in those elections.

After weeks of appeals by the AKP and its nationalist MHP ally, the election board ruled last week for a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election which the CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu won by a narrow margin.

It was the first time in 25 years that the AKP or its predecessors had failed to win control of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with a budget of close to $4 billion. Erdogan launched his own political career as Istanbul mayor.


Egypt accuses UN of seeking to ‘politicize’ Morsi death

Updated 38 min 22 sec ago
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Egypt accuses UN of seeking to ‘politicize’ Morsi death

  • Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said the UN is trying to politicize a natural death
  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an independent investigation into the death of Morsi

CAIRO: Egypt accused the United Nations on Wednesday of seeking to “politicize” the death of the country’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi by calling for an “independent inquiry.”

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said he condemned “in the strongest terms” the call by the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, for an independent investigation into Morsi’s death during a court hearing on Monday.

Hafez said it was a “deliberate attempt to politicize a case of natural death.”

Colville called Tuesday for a probe into whether the conditions Morsi faced during his nearly six years in custody had contributed to his death.

“Any sudden death in custody must be followed by a prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation carried out by an independent body to clarify the cause of death,” he said.

“Concerns have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr. Morsi’s detention, including access to adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers and family,” Colville added.

He said the investigation must “encompass all aspects of the authorities’ treatment of Mr. Morsi to examine whether the conditions of his detention had an impact on his death.”

Morsi was toppled by then army chief, now President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in 2013 after a single divisive year in power. He was later charged with an array of offenses including espionage.

Since his ouster, authorities have waged an ongoing crackdown on dissent of all kinds that has seen thousands of Brotherhood supporters jailed and hundreds facing death sentences.

A group of British parliamentarians in March 2018 warned Morsi’s detention conditions, particularly inadequate treatment for his diabetes and liver disease, could trigger “premature death.”