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Binali Yıldırım, who lost the March 31 local elections according to unofficial results and has been nominated again by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for İstanbul Metropolitan Mayorship, spoke to Ahmet Hakan from CNN Türk last evening (May 13).
Addressing the annulment of the İstanbul Metropolitan Mayoral elections by the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on the ground that "irregularities were committed while forming the balloting committees", Yıldırım also commented on the artists who posted social media messages under the hashtag #herseycokguzelolacak (Everything will be fine) in support and solidarity with Ekrem İmamoğlu, whose certificate of election has been revoked.
Stating that it is not right for the artists to group together in one place, Binali Yıldırım said, "If we are talking about artists, they should treat everyone equally." Regarding the artists who expressed support for İmamoğlu on social media, Yıldırım claimed, "It harms their career."
Alleging the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), whose candidate İmamoğlu won the İstanbul elections according to unofficial results, "stole the votes" in March 31 elections, Yıldırım said:
"Our votes were stolen, the YSK filed a criminal complaint. Therefore, the responsible ones will be revealed. There are representatives from political parties, but two people are appointed by election councils. The lists given by district governorships were not used, people were brought from outside. There are such things that you will be astounded.
"Look, we have just learned it today: 96 balloting committee chairs are members of the CHP. Moreover, 3,389 balloting committee chairs are first-degree relatives.
"There are 19 thousand balloting committee chairs who were discharged from civil service or prevented from duty by the law. Municipality workers, military personnel, the ones discharged by Statutory Decrees... Taken together, we are talking about 19 thousand 742 people."
Stating that the YSK has not yet released its justified ruling on the annulment of İstanbul elections, Yıldırım speculated that in its ruling, the Council will not only refer to the balloting committees, but to the following points as well:
"The vote counting tables in 22 of 123 ballot boxes were empty, there was nothing written on them. There were no signatures on [vote counting tables] of 101 ballot boxes. Taken together, it accounts for around 42 thousand votes. 42 thousand votes are enough to flaw the election.
"The margin between us [with İmamoğlu] is 1.6 per thousand, namely, 13 thousand votes. Then, you count the votes again. Under normal conditions, is it not expected that the votes gained will be equal, too? But, we gained more votes [after the recount].
Concluding his remarks, Yıldırım also claimed that voters in some regions where the voters of the AKP are in majority, people were given two voting papers instead of three. Yıldırım said that "if this irregularity was done in each ballot box, it means over 31 thousand votes." (EKN/SD)