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International outcry over Istanbul election re-run

May 8, 2019 5:17 am

The EU and leading member states have sharply criticised a decision in Turkey to re-run Istanbul’s mayoral election, after a shock opposition win.

An EU spokesperson called on Turkey’s electoral body to explain the controversial decision “without delay”.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Mass called the re-run “incomprehensible”.

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The move was also criticised by the French government and by leading MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who said Turkey was “drifting towards dictatorship”.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month lost the mayorship of Turkey’s biggest city by a narrow margin, but Mr Erdogan refused to accept defeat.

The AKP claims that there were irregularities that invalidate the vote. The decision to hold a new poll on 23 June sparked protests across Istanbul on Monday. Hundreds of people gathered in several districts, banging pots and pans and shouting anti-government slogans.

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