Erdogan wins the appeal: Istanbul again to vote to choose the mayor

The supplementary election scheduled for June 23rd. The opposition candidate, winner of the March 31st elections, defines the judges' decision as "treason". Thousands of citizens protest demanding "law" and "justice". The credibility of Turkish democracy is in danger for Europe.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The new mayor of the Chp opposition party, Ekrem Imamoglu, has called the electoral commission's decision a betrayal, which decided yesterday to cancel - only for Istanbul, the country's economic and commercial capital - the outcome of the administrative elections of March 31st.

On that occasion, the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had suffered a defeat not only in the city on the Bosphorus strait, but also in the capital Ankara and in several other centers. After a month of uncertainty, the judges ruled that the vote will take place on June 23rd.

"Those who make decisions in this country - emphasized Imamoglu - can be found in a condition [...] of treason. However, we will not give up." Addressing his voters, he invited them to keep "hope alive", because "you will see: we will all win together".

His supporters, gathered by the thousands, have called for the resignation of the judges of the Commission, whose sentence is final. The streets reverberated with the words "law" and "justice", mocking the name of the governing party AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, of Justice and Development in Turkish).

After more than a month of uncertainty, the Commission decided by majority vote to repeat the administrative vote accepting the appeal for alleged fraud. So the Istanbul mayor's chair returns, first assigned to the secular opposition that had defeated a loyal Erdogan (also a mayor in the 1990s), the former premier Binali Yildirim.

Imamoglu had won in Istanbul with less than 13 thousand reject votes, against a megalopolis of about 15 million inhabitants. The (controversial) choice for a re-election came with seven votes in favor and four against; an anomaly, given that usually the 11 members decide by absolute majority. Recep Ozel, a member of the AKP, speaks of an invalid vote because some tellers were not public officials and some papers were not signed according to procedure.

The decision is intended to fuel accusations of authoritarian drift against Erdogan and the ruling party. The European Parliament is also concerned, according to which the choice of repeating the consultation could put an end to the "credibility" of the democratic electoral process in Turkey.