Turkey’s electoral body declared yesterday that recent municipal election relations in Istanbul were invalid and called for a new mayoral vote in the city on 23 June.

Commenting on the situation, the European Green Party co-leading candidate, Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller said that “Erdoğan is canceling democracy by not accepting an election result. This is a new low point for Turkey.  We call on the authorities to immediately overturn this decision which will come as a severe blow to all democratic forces in the country.  We will always be on the side of those in Turkey supporting democracy and human rights.”

“The decision by Turkey’s high election board to overturn the results of municipal elections in Istanbul will be remembered as a stain on the history of democracy. In taking such a decision, the high election board (YSK) made it clear that it is prepared to bow down to the pressure of a one-man regime.  This is a political decision not a legal one and totally undermines its independence and credibility,” said the co-chairs of the Turkish Green Left Party Eylem Tuncaelli and Sinan Tutal.

“The ruling AKP-MHP ruling bloc has suffered an election defeat and are showing themselves to be poor losers. Canceling the election, especially in Istanbul, is an indication that they are thinking about their own continuity rather than the continuity problem within the country itself. The Green Left Party and other democratic forces in Turkey will not remain silent in the face of this anti-democratic decision and will continue to back the will of the people who have chosen Ekrem İmamoğlu. The forces of democracy, justice and law must emerge from this victorious,” Tuncaelli and Tutal concluded.