Turkey’s local elections tainted by accusations of foul play

The main Turkish opposition party CHP has accused the government of foul play following a series of power cuts which affected over 20 provinces across Turkey while ballot counting took place on local elections night.

Istanbul’s European side was among the areas where blackouts were the worst and big business is alleged to have been behind the power cuts. Turkish daily ‘Birgun’ reports that the energy distribution company in the area is BEDAS, which is chaired by Mehmet Cengiz, who received a licence from the government to build a third airport for Istanbul and was implicated in the huge graft investigation.

The Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz blamed the power outs on cats.

Arbitrary power blackouts are illegal according to Turkish law. Energy distribution companies make a commitment through public tender specifications that they will not cut power except in times of planned outages or extraordinary situations like natural disasters.

Furthermore, raising accusations of vote rigging, used ballots papers, marked in favour of the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), were found in rubbish bags from six schools used as polling stations in the southern province of Osmaniye. If they had not been discovered, the papers would have been burned as refuse.

Candidates from the CHP and MHP have filed an official complaint about the discovery to the Public Prosecutors’ Office and have appealed to the Supreme Election Council (YSK).

The local police department has launched an investigation into the incident.

Since the results of the 30th March elections were announced, anger over alleged North Cyprus News - Ankara_riots

electoral fraud in Ankara and elsewhere is spreading around the country.

Hundreds of protesters in Ankara are demanding a vote recount.

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