TURKEY

Recount process brings AK Party more votes in Istanbul - ruling party's deputy chairman

"Since April 1, the number of votes corrected in favor of the AK Party is 11,109 after an update in 530 ballot boxes. Recount of the votes which were deemed invalid previously were also ongoing and some 1,641 of invalid votes in 5,857 boxes turned out to be in favor of the AK Party," Ali Ihsan Yavuz, deputy AK Party chairman, told a news conference in party headquarters in Istanbul on Thursday.

Over 11,000 votes have turned in favor of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Istanbul after recount in 530 ballot boxes, said a senior AK Party official on Thursday.

"Since April 1, the number of votes corrected in favor of the AK Party is 11,109 after an update in 530 ballot boxes," Ali Ihsan Yavuz, deputy AK Party chairman, told a news conference in party headquarters in Istanbul.

Yavuz added that recount of the votes which were deemed invalid previously were also ongoing and some 1,641 of invalid votes in 5,857 boxes turned out to be in favor of the AK Party.

"I also want to give you another number, not related to the recount of the invalid votes, but related to recount of all votes; in 121 ballot boxes, 64 votes were recorded under AK Party's name," he said.

Early Wednesday, responding to a legal challenge by the AK Party, the YSK decided to re-examine some votes in seven districts of Istanbul.

Yavuz also noted that many votes were not registered in the system of the Supreme Election Council (YSK), while the votes registered later were also written in different sections, or the sections were left empty.

"There are so many examples of such that we haven't taken a step regarding these yet," he said, adding there are many boxes that need correction of the votes.

Yavuz stressed that the only purpose of these processes were to have clear results of the local elections, and added that they were using legal ways to correct the mistakes, misuses and irregularities.

According to unofficial results, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoğlu leads Istanbul with 48.79 percent of the votes, whereas Binali Yıldırım of AK Party follows with 48.51 percent of the votes.

However, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has said a recount might change these results.

Yavuz also noted that the vote gap between Imamoğlu and Yıldırım decreased to 19,000 votes and there were more corrected votes, which yet to be registered in the YSK system.

Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide in the local elections to choose Turkey's mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils for the next five years.

According to unofficial results, the AK Party is leading in 15 metropolitan municipalities (larger cities) and 24 smaller cities.

Meanwhile, Mansur Yavaş, CHP's mayoral candidate in capital Ankara, is leading with 50.91 percent of votes, according to unofficial results, with the AK Party's Mehmet Özhaseki at 47.1 percent.

The AK Party also challenged poll results in 11 districts of Ankara.

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