Erdogan’s party to demand total recount of Istanbul ballots

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Istanbul : Turkey’s ruling party said Sunday it would appeal to the country’s top election authority, demanding a full recount of votes cast in Istanbul in the March 31 mayoral election.

The AKP is reeling from its apparent loss of the mayoralties of Istanbul and the capital Ankara, both cities which the party and its Islamist predecessors have dominated for a quarter of a century. Erdogan himself rose to prominence as Istanbul’s mayor in the 1990s before emerging as national leader.

Ali Ihsan Yavuz, deputy chairman of the ruling AKP party, announced this as a recount of votes that were previously deemed invalid was continuing in several Istanbul districts.

The losses in Ankara and Istanbul, if confirmed, would be especially painful for Erdogan, who campaigned relentlessly for the local elections.
For most of his 16 years in power he has overseen strong economic growth, largely supported by a construction boom funded with cheap debt, which has won backing for the AKP beyond its base of pious, conservative Turks.

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