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Former chief justice says election board’s İstanbul decision ‘confirmation of guilt’

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Turkey’s former chief justice, Haşim Kılıç, has said the country’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) has confirmed its guilt by nullifying the mayoral election in İstanbul, which was won by an opposition candidate.

In a controversial decision on Monday, the YSK ordered that a new mayoral election be held in İstanbul, cancelling the results of the March 31 local election.

The YSK announced its 7-4 decision due to allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost the race by a razor-thin margin in İstanbul.

In an interview published by the Karar daily on Friday, Kılıç said, “The YSK not only neglected its duties but also violated the right of millions of people to vote.”

Kılıç, who served as the head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court between 2007 and 2015, said by cancelling the İstanbul election results, the YSK did failed to fulfill its duty as an “arbitrator.”

This week, former President Abdullah Gül and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also criticized the YSK for its decision on the İstanbul vote, saying that its move contravenes universal law and common practice.

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