Erdogan Cancels Election Result to Save Democracy
As seems to be a trend in democracies, the Turkish government wants to rerun a vote in Istanbul after a surprise opposition win. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) first reacted to the result by putting up victory posters in spite their apparent loss. As the posters weren’t convincing enough to get their candidate into office, the AKP now questions the slim win by the opposition.
The opposition in question, the CHP, has been accused of irregularities and corruption so a new vote will be held on the 23rd of June. On the surface this looks like purposeful slander of the opposition and an authoritarian move for the AKP to remain in power in Istanbul. However, Mr Erdogan is so familiar with corruption and irregularities that he has to carry some authority on the topic.
Outraged, Erdogan has called the election “one of the biggest stains in Turkey’s Democratic History”. At least there will be no need to worry about that anymore as Erdogan is making sure there’s nothing left to be stained.
In response to the announcement of the re-run, the CHP’s candidate for Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, has said, “[w]e will never compromise on our principles,” and that, “[t]his country is filled with 82 million patriots who will fight… until the last moment for democracy”. The 42 million patriots who voted for Erdogan are yet to confirm their willingness to fight the rerun. In the mean time, Turkey will do what Britain has failed to for the past 2 years; give the people a second choice between a party that lost and a party that’s not allowed to win.
But, unlike Britain’s spot in the European Union, losing Istanbul is a bit of a sore spot for Erdogan. In the 1990s Erdogan made his debut in politics when he launched his political campaign in the mayoral elections. Not only is Istanbul symbolic for his career, but Erdogan has many times expressed that, ’whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey.” Say what you will about the AKP, but they do walk the talk.
Since the announcement of the rerun, the opposition has accused Erdogan of being a dictator and the Turkish Lira has dropped 20% in value in true dictatorship fashion. The Council of Europe, not to be confused with the group of EU leaders who keep Theresa May awake at night, previously expressed doubts as to whether Turkey’s electoral environment is fair, but thanks to this scrupulous election critique, such doubts can be put to rest.
Rather than just throwing words around, the inhabitants of Istanbul have taken to action as they have gone to the streets to bang on pots and pans. This may sound like an ineffective way to show protest, but has been argued as the only way to communicate with their great leader.
In a defeated tone, Turkey’s CHP concluded that, “[i]t is illegal to win against the AKP” and that, “this system overruled the will of the people and disregards the law.” For an election fraud support group, the CHP could visit Alex Navalny’s gulag, or if they have $800 to spare they could go see Hillary Clinton on tour.