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Yıldırım: Election body will decide on winner for Istanbul polls

"Istanbulites have already made their decision and are awaiting an announcement by the Supreme Election Council (YSK). The election is over, however, the complaint and appeal period continues. The top election body will decide on the winner for Istanbul which saw a neck-to-neck contest in Sunday's local polls," Binali Yıldırım -- the ruling AK Party mayoral candidate -- told reporters on Wednesday.

Turkey's ruling party mayoral candidate has said the top election body will decide on the winner for Istanbul which saw a neck-to-neck contest in Sunday's local polls.

Binali Yıldırım, who is also the former parliament speaker, told reporters on Wednesday that Istanbulites have already made their decision and are awaiting an announcement by the Supreme Election Council (YSK).

"The election is over, however, the complaint and appeal period continues," Yildirim said.

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 Yıldırım follows with 48.51 percent of the votes. However, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has said a recount might change these results.

Yıldırım also criticized Imamoğlu for introducing himself as mayor of Istanbul before waiting for the official results, referring to his visit to Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk -- the founder of Turkey and its first president -- where Imamoglu signed the memorial book as mayor of Istanbul.

"Signing the book in Anıtkabir as mayor of Istanbul is a shock move, I am not saying anything else," he added.

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

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 has also challenged poll results in 11 districts of Ankara.

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