* Photograph: Ankara / AA
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Ali İhsan Yavuz, the Vice Chair of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) responsible for Electoral Affairs, made a statement today (May 2) and repeated his allegation that there were irregularities in local elections.
Stating that "irregularities were certainly committed in İstanbul elections", Yavuz defended this allegation by referring to the narrowing margin of votes between Binali Yıldırım, the candidate of People's Alliance for the Metropolitan Mayorship of İstanbul from the AKP, and Ekrem İmamoğlu, the candidate of Nation Alliance from the Republican People's Party (CHP).
Yavuz has said, "29 thousand votes fell to 13 thousand and we, now, also see that the ones who are in prison also cast votes in local elections."
Though Ali İhsan Yavuz stated that the margin of votes between the two top candidates was 29 thousand, the joint voting minutes used by the Supreme Election Council (YSK) while announcing the winner of the elections showed that the margin was, in fact, 24 thousand 777.
The Law on Elections stipulates that the political parties which run in the elections cannot use their right of objection until joint voting minutes are issued. According to the first joint voting minutes prepared for the Metropolitan Mayorship of İstanbul, while Ekrem İmamoğlu received 4 million 169 thousand 967 votes, Binali Yıldırım received 4 million 145 thousand 190 votes.
"No one can possibly claim that nothing happened in İstanbul," AKP Vice Chair Ali İhsan Yavuz said, but he did not mention the figures shared by the YSK based on the joint voting minutes.
In his speech today, Ali İhsan Yavuz continued targeting presiding polling clerks. While Ali İhsan Yavuz was speaking, the state-run Anadolu Agency announced that over 100 people have been summoned to depose as part of 32 separate investigations launched upon the allegations of "organized irregularities" by the AKP and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Yavuz stated that they have a list and the presiding polling clerks in this list are people who were previously discharged.
Yavuz said that the ones discharged from banks are also in this list of presiding polling clerks. Stating that "there are also the ones discharged from İşbank", Ali İhsan Yavuz asked, "Several of them were taken from the İşbank, does the CHP have shares there, right?"
According to Yavuz, "Someone committed a crime." Underlining that he was not directly accusing the CHP, Yavuz said, "There is a crime committed either by them [CHP], by someone or a jointly committed crime." (HK/SD)