The Supreme Election Council (YSK) has rejected the objection of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which previously applied to the YSK, alleging that it is not legal for the ones discharged by statutory decrees during the State of Emergency to cast votes.
The Council has also announced its ruling on the allegation of the AKP regarding voters under legal disability. The YSK has ruled that 41 thousand 132 voters shall be investigated in relation with the AKP’s allegation.
The ruling of the YSK has been shared with the public by Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul MP Aykut Erdoğdu, who posted the following message on his Twitter account: “The YSK has ruled that those discharged by statutory decrees are eligible to vote.”
The YSK is still evaluating the objections raised by political parties against the local elections in İstanbul. The Council discussed the request for cancellation of elections in İstanbul previously raised by the AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) yesterday (April 22).
This meeting lasted for five hours and AKP’s representative to the YSK Recep Özel made a presentation for two and a half hours.
As for today’s session, it began at 11 a.m.
In the 44-page petition of extraordinary objection submitted by the AKP to the Council, it is alleged that the vote counting tables were without a seal, the votes were deliberately shifted, there were missing voting papers, voters under legal disability cast votes and irregularities were committed while balloting committees were formed.
Appealing to the YSK for the cancellation of local elections in İstanbul, the AKP also submitted a supplementary petition where the names of the ones discharged from public service by statutory decrees were listed.
Applying to the Council after the AKP, the MHP also requested that the elections held for the Metropolitan Mayorship of İstanbul and Maltepe District Mayorship be cancelled and re-elections be held.
After the local elections came to an end on March 31, an objection was raised at the YSK, indicating that some mayor-elects were previously discharged from public service by statutory decrees.
Consulting with the provincial election councils regarding these objections, the YSK ruled on April 11 that the candidates discharged by statutory decrees shall not be granted their certificates of elections.
The decision of the YSK applied to six districts, where the candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) won the elections and those of the ruling AKP came second. In all of these towns and districts, certificates of election have been given to AKP’s candidates.
Right to vote and to be elected in Constitution
The Article 67 of the Constitution stipulates the following for the right to vote be elected:
“In conformity with the conditions set forth in the law, citizens have the right to vote, to be elected, to engage in political activities independently or in a political party, and to take part in a referendum.
(As amended on July 23, 1995; Act No. 4121) Elections and referenda shall be held under the direction and supervision of the judiciary, in accordance with the principles of free, equal, secret, direct, universal suffrage, and public counting of the votes. However, the law determines applicable measures for Turkish citizens abroad to exercise their right to vote.
(As amended on May 17, 1987; Act No. 3361, and on July 23, 1995; Act No. 4121) All Turkish citizens over eighteen years of age shall have the right to vote in elections and to take part in referenda.
The exercise of these rights shall be regulated by law.
(As amended on July 23, 1995; Act No. 4121, and on October 3, 2001; Act No. 4709) Privates and corporals at arms, cadets, and convicts in penal execution institutions excluding those convicted of negligent offences shall not vote. The necessary measures to be taken to ensure the safety of voting and the counting of the votes in penal execution institutions and prisons shall be determined by the Supreme Board of Election; such voting is held under the on-site direction and supervision of authorized judge.
(Paragraph added on July 23, 1995; Act No. 4121) The electoral laws shall be drawn up
(Paragraph added on October 3, 2001; Act No. 4709) Amendments to the electoral laws