Main Turk opposition loses bid for election recount in Ankara

by Reuters
Friday, 4 April 2014 15:34 GMT

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ANKARA, April 4 (Reuters) - Turkey's main opposition CHP party has lost a bid to force a recount of the results of Sunday's local election in the capital Ankara, a party source said on Friday.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party largely dominated Turkey's electoral map in the nationwide communal polls, keeping control of the main cities including Istanbul and Ankara.

The source said the CHP would appeal the decision against a recount taken by the Ankara election board.

But a reversal of the Ankara result would have been little more than a consolation prize for the opposition, who failed to dent Erdogan's support nationally in a vote that became a referendum on his rule as he battles allegations of corruption.

Erdogan dismisses the allegations as politically motivated. No official results have been announced, but informal tallies from Turkish news channels put the AK Party at 45 percent nationwide, compared to 28 percent for the CHP.

In Ankara, the AK Party's candidate and incumbent Mayor Melih Gokcek secured 44.6 percent of the votes, narrowly beating CHP nominee Mansur Yavas on 43.8 percent, according to provisional electoral board results.

Since Monday, hundreds of volunteers, mostly students, have been comparing and recounting votes for CHP after widespread allegations of irregularities spread on social media.

(Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Dasha Afanasieva/Mark Heinrich)

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