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More than 61M cast votes in local elections: Turkish election authority chief

Published April 01,2024

A day after Türkiye's local elections on Sunday, the head of the country's election authority said 34 political parties had competed in the polls, with over 61 million registered voters casting their ballots.

"The ratio of ballot boxes opened in the mayoral elections for metropolitan municipalities is 99.99%. The turnout rate in the metropolitan municipality mayoral elections is 78.11%," Ahmet Yener, chairman of the Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK), said at a Monday news conference in Ankara, the capital.

He also stated that 99.95% of the ballot boxes for municipal mayoral elections were opened with a turnout rate of 78.7%, while the figures for provincial general council elections were at 99.97% and 80.7%, respectively.

"According to unofficial results, the Republican People's Party (CHP) has won 35 mayoral seats nationwide, the Justice and Development (AK) Party 24, the Peoples' Democratic Party (DEM) Party 10, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) eight, the New Welfare Party (YRP) two, the Great Unity Party (BBP) one, and IYI Party one."

Among Türkiye's 30 metropolitan municipalities, the CHP won 14, AK Party 12, DEM Party three, and the YRP one, he added.

Voters in Türkiye's larger cities cast votes for metropolitan municipality mayor in Sunday's elections, besides municipality mayor, municipal council membership, mukhtars and elder council members. Those cities are Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Balıkesir, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaraş, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Muğla, Ordu, Sakarya, Samsun, Şanlıurfa, Tekirdağ, Trabzon, and Van.

Yener said that for Türkiye's 51 provincial municipalities, the CHP won 18 mayoral elections of 44 reported, while AK Party got nine, the MHP eight, DEM Party six, and the BBP, IYI Party, and YRP one each.

Across Türkiye's 973 districts, Yener added, unofficial results have been reported in 878, with 324 going to AK Party, 302 to the CHP, 110 to the MHP, 54 to DEM Party, 37 to the YRP, 23 to IYI Party, 12 to the BBP, nine to independents, two to the Democratic Party, one to the Democracy and Progress Party, one to the Democratic Left Party, one to the Felicity Party, one to the Left Party, and one to the Workers' Party of Türkiye.

Of 390 township mayoral elections, reports have come in 356, he said, adding that AK Party had won 154, the MHP 90, the CHP 55, the YRP 22, DEM Party 10, the BBP six, IYI Party five, the Democratic Party and Felicity Party three each, the Democracy and Progress Party and Democratic Left Party two each, and Free Cause Party, Homeland Party, Left Party, and independents one each.

The chairman expressed gratitude to those involved in the elections, stressing that save for isolated incidents, the elections were held largely peacefully and securely.

He underscored that the election process is ongoing according to the election calendar, stating: "Upon the announcement of the official election results, signed reports will be made available to the public on our website."

Türkiye held local elections on Sunday, with the main opposition CHP securing a close lead over the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party, according to unofficial results.

With nearly all ballot boxes opened across the country, the CHP leads with 37.76% of votes, followed by AK Party with 35.48%.

Candidates from a total of 34 political parties competed in the elections, with over 206,000 polling stations set up across the country.