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    Erdogan Spokesman: Annulled Istanbul Mayoral Vote a 'Victory for Democracy'

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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said the voiding of the mayoral election in Istanbul amounts to "a victory for Turkish democracy" by ensuring the results reflect the voters' choice, according to AP.

    In particular, Fahrettin Altun told AP that the new local vote scheduled for 23 June extends Turkey's record of holding free and fair elections for nearly seven decades, adding that "we are also confident that the justice system will hold accountable all individuals and organizations that violated electoral laws during this process".

    The Turkish Supreme Electoral Council voided earlier the results of a mayoral vote in Istanbul, where opposition politician Ekrem Imamoglu has won.

    READ MORE: Ankara Waits Anxiously as Turkey Votes in Crucial Parliamentary Elections

    Imamoglu, who used to work as the head of Istanbul's Beylikduzu district's council, gained 48.8 percent of the vote in the Istanbul mayoral election held on 31 March, while his opponent from the he ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Binali Yildirim, got 48.55 percent. On 17 April, Imamoglu assumed office despite the AKP's appeal to cancel the results of the election and call a new vote.

    "The decision on setting a re-election was made because of the fact that some members of election commissions at polling places were not public servants, and because 22 protocols were empty and not signed. The Supreme Electoral Council’s decision proves that we are right and that our demands are fair. The today’s session [of the council] also decided to deprive [elected mayor Ekrem] Imamoglu of his mandate", Recep Ozel, representative of the AKP said earlier on Monday.

    READ MORE: Turkish Cities to Change Hands After Elections Without Erdogan's Power — Experts

    As a result of the 31 March municipal elections, the Turkish opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has won the vote in Istanbul for the first time since 2002, while its candidate also won the mayoral election in the country's capital of Ankara for the first time since 1994. CHP candidates have also won in the cities of Izmir, Antalya, Adana and Mersin.

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    Mayoral Vote, Turkey, Istanbul
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