The AKP-MHP coalition is reversing election results through district, province and the Supreme Board of Elections

Information note by our vice co-chair Hişyar Özsoy regarding the rigs and irregularities in the post-electoral process in Turkey:

Under the pressures of the AKP-MHP, electoral boards in districts and provinces as well as the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) have made unlawful and unfair decisions that seek to effectively change election results and turn the failure of the ruling party into a victory.

For example, many political parties have objected to election results by appealing to electoral boards. This is a legal right if documented evidence is presented. However, while the AKP or its ally MHP’s objections for recounting the votes have mostly been accepted, the majority of similar appeals of opposition parties have been refused by district and provincial boards of elections even when the margin for winning was small and there were many votes counted as invalid. According to the Dokuz8Haber news agency, 87,18 percent of the AKP’s objections (68 out of 78), 68,75 percent of the MHP’s objections, 43,75 percent of the CHP’s objections, and 26,67 percent of the IYI Party’s objections, and 17,65 percent of the HDP’s objections (3 out of 17) were accepted. 13 of the total of 17 appeals of the HDP demanded recounting of the votes in 13 districts; none was accepted.

The pressures of the AKP and President Erdoğan on the YSK regarding the elections in Istanbul also continue. In many districts of Istanbul all invalid votes were already recounted upon appeals of the AKP. In addition, 57 ballot boxes in 21 different districts are now being recounted. Because these recountings have not changed election results, the AKP is preparing to make an “extraordinary appeal” to the YSK to cancel and renew the elections for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Besides rejecting the overwhelming majority of our appeals, on April 9, the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) made scandalous decisions for 5 Kurdish districts and refused to grant election certificates to HDP candidates who won the elections in the ballot box. Instead they decided to grant the certificates to the AKP candidates who were the second in the electoral race in these districts. The Board justified these decisions by arguing that these candidates had previously been civil servants and dismissed from their jobs by government decrees. But when we submitted the nomination files of these candidates to the Supreme Board in February for approval, the Board found all of them eligible to run in the elections. That is, those who were then found eligible by the Board to run in the elections are now denied election certificates by the same Board. Had the Board denied their candidacy in February, we could have nominated other candidates. What the Board did was clearly a very ugly and unlawful trap for the HDP.

The Kurdish mayors who won in the ballot box but were denied certificates are those of Tekman district of Erzurum, where HDP won by 48,52 percent (5,187 votes) and the AKP received 46,53 percent (4,974 votes); Çaldıran district of Van, where the HDP won by 53 percent (12,713 votes) and the AKP received 43,43 percent (10,419 votes); Edremit district of Van, where the HDP won by 53,81 percent (31,094 votes) and the AKP received 41,79 percent (24,145 votes); Tuşba district of Van, where the HDP won by 53.07 percent (33,201 votes) and the AKP received 39,36 percent (24,625 votes); Dağpınar town of Kars, where the HDP won with 54,25 percent (1,066 votes) and the AKP received 44,43 percent (873 votes). Most likely a similar decision will be made about Bağlar district in urban Diyarbakır, where the HDP won with 70,43 percent (116,512 votes) and the AKP received 25.51 percent (42,202 votes).

These decisions of the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) clearly show that it is not an independent and impartial institution to ensure the safety of elections. These decisions of the YSK are in clear violation of the Constitution, laws and its own circulars.

Once again, we call on all international institutions, especially the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, to closely observe the post-electoral period and take actions against all kind of irregularities and unlawful implementations.

Hişyar Özsoy
Vice Co-chair of the HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs
MP for Diyarbakır
12 April 2019