The decision to hold a new mayoral election in Istanbul is undermining Turkey’s besieged democracy, Foreign Policy reported.
According to the source, despite all its shortcomings, Turkey, since 1946, had the opportunity to hold multiparty elections with results that were accepted by all, while confidence in this process has now evaporated.
The rules governing elections have become random, which undermines citizens' trust in the integrity of the most fundamental democratic process.
Indeed, after rethinking its past judicial practice, the Turkish Electoral Commission based its decision on the fact that the commissions for voting were formed illegally.
Nevertheless, the Electoral Commission was unable to demonstrate how this violation affected the election results, given that ballot boxes were also controlled by representatives of political parties.
According to the source, the direct legal explanation is that the High Electoral Commission is authorized to make decisions only on the disputed results. In this case, only the election of the mayor of Istanbul was challenged - quite possibly because the Justice and Development Party (AKP) succeeded in other places. Perhaps from a legal point of view, this is correct, but not morally. The decision on new elections in Istanbul at the request of the ruling party, despite the fact that the entire vote could have been potentially affected by the alleged violations, undermines public confidence and creates a precedent that can be used in the future by any ruling party if it is not satisfied with the election results.
Some supporters of opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu reacted to the decision, calling for a boycott of repeat elections. However, Imamoglu swore to never give up and continue to fight.
The dissatisfaction caused by the decision on new choices went beyond the limits of the opposition. As not everyone in the AKP or its voter base is satisfied with the result. This can make the cracks within the ruling party more visible. Abdullah Gul, the former president and one of the founders of the AKP, has sharply criticized this decision on Twitter. He does not deny rumors that he supports the creation of a new party headed by former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Ali Babacan.