While Erdogan lauds Istanbul vote re-run, Berlin says it is ‘incomprehensible’

Maas criticized plans to re-run Istanbul’s mayoral election as “not transparent and incomprehensible to us.” (File photo: AFP)

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday criticized plans to re-run Istanbul’s mayoral election as “not transparent and incomprehensible to us.”

“Who holds the office of Istanbul’s mayor can only be decided by the will of the Turkish voters,” Maas said in a statement.

Turkey’s top election body on Monday ordered a replay of March’s Istanbul election after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party complained of “irregularities” and “organized crime.”

Erdogan says vote re-run is ‘best step’

Meanwhile, Erdogan welcomed on Tuesday the controversial order to re-run the recent Istanbul election after complaints of corruption as the “best step” for the country.

“We see this decision as the best step that will strengthen our will to solve problems within the framework of democracy and law,” Erdogan told a meeting of his party members in parliament.

Erdogan’s comments come a day after the top election body cancelled the March 31 vote that handed opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu a narrow lead over Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The AKP has refused to accept defeat, citing “irregularities and corruption” in the vote.

With 16 million residents, Istanbul is Turkey’s economic engine and controls a major chunk of public spending.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
Top