In Ağrı repeat poll, AK Party trusts in power and BDP trusts in candidate
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is trying to influence voters in a June 1 repeat of a local mayoral election in Ağrı province 1 by taking advantage of its position in power. But its closest rival, the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), is putting its faith in its candidate.

Acting on a challenge from the AK Party, Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) canceled the results of a March 30 election in Ağrı in early April. The election will be repeated on June 1. There is a tight race between BDP mayoral candidate Sırrı Sakık and the AK Party's candidate, Hasan Arslan. Both parties won over 45 percent of the vote in the local election, part of local polls held across Turkey on March 30. The ruling party promised to launch projects worth over TL 500 million in the province if its mayoral candidate won the upcoming elections.
Nearly every Cabinet minister and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself visited the province to campaign for the ruling party. Despite these efforts, the BDP believes that Muş deputy Sırrı Sakık has what it takes to win. Sakık is seen as a strong candidate even among AK Party circles because of his moderate stances and effective rhetoric. BDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş will hold a rally on Friday in the predominantly Kurdish province.

Meanwhile, two mayoral candidates pulled out of a repeat election in Yalova to be held on June 1 to support the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate, Vefa Salman, against the AK Party.

On Friday, Workers' Party (İP) candidate Hüseyin Irızak and far-right Rights and Equality Party (HEPAR) candidate Törehan Yıldırır announced their withdrawal from the election to throw their weight behind Salman.

The AK Party beat the CHP in Yalova by a difference of only one vote on March 30. The CHP challenged the results in court, demanding a recount. When the votes were recounted, the YSK found that the CHP's mayoral candidate had received six more votes than his rival. The CHP was then declared the winner of the city. However, the ruling party challenged that ruling, claiming that a number of mentally disabled persons who were not eligible to vote had cast ballots. The YSK accepted the AK Party's petition and launched an investigation, subsequently canceling the polls and ordering a repeat election.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2014-05-29 17:00:01
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