Former President Gül, Former PM Davutoğlu Criticize İstanbul Election Annulment

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  • May 8, 2019
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Abdullah Gül, the previous president and a former long-time ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ahmet Davutoğlu, a former prime minister and former chairperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) reacted to YSK verdict last night (May 7).

The YSK canceled the March 31 local election results for İstanbul, where opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won.

“We didn’t go forward a bit”

Gül tweeted, reminding the crisis at the time of his election as the president, “When I heard the verdict the Supreme Election Council made yesterday, I felt the same thing I felt against the Constitutional Court’s unjust “367 verdict” in 2007. It is a shame that we didn’t go forward a bit.”

The Constitutional Court ruled in 2007 that the parliament can’t elect a president without 367 MPs present at the session of the election, which lead to the cancellation of the first round of the elections, in which Gül received 352 votes. The parliament had 550 chairs at the time.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) then supported the AKP to reach the quorum of the parliament, which helped Gül’s election as the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey.

Gül also served as the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the AKP prior to his election as the President.

“Loss of moral highground”

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister and Chairperson of the AKP, Ahmet Davutoğlu, tweeted on the YSK verdict about three times after Gül:

“The biggest loss for political movements is to lose the moral high ground in the social conscience.

“Now what needs to be done is to prevent our democracy from corroding even more by running the election process with maturity and staying away from tensions and polarization. Fair and regular elections are the reference point for our collective consciousness as they are a reference point for democracy.

“The YSK verdict includes contradictions to the universal law and established practices and damages this consciousness. The most basic value of our political tradition is that the last word belongs to the will of the nation at the ballot box.

“Whatever the reasons and excuses are, what has been experienced after the March 31 elections and the YSK’s verdict for the annulment caused our basic values to be damaged.

“Despite all the deficiencies, legitimacy of the ballot box is the most important strength of the Turkish political life and democracy. The will the nation shows at the ballot box is the thing that pulled out the country from difficult times and critical thresholds.”