Turkey's chief election authority has ruled that several mayors-elect from the main pro-Kurdish party cannot take up their posts because they were previously dismissed from their jobs under government decrees, the party said on Thursday, April 11, Reuters reports.
Saruhan Oluc, spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), said his party was being targeted in an "organized political plot" after nationwide local elections on March 31. More than half of the elected HDP mayors are also still waiting to receive their mandates to take up their posts, he said.
The country's High Election Board (YSK) has rejected several appeals to the initial results by the HDP and other opposition parties. President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party has also had a few objections turned back.
The initial mayoral results show the AKP lost control of Istanbul, the capital Ankara, and other key cities in a shock setback for Erdogan.
The AKP submitted several objections in areas it faced losses and on Wednesday, Erdogan called for an annulment of the Istanbul elections over what his party has described as irregularities affecting the outcome.
The YSK ruled that elected mayors in four districts and a sub-district in southeastern Turkey could not receive their mandate because they had been dismissed in a government decree as part of a crackdown following a 2016 failed coup attempt.
The ruling means that mayors from the pro-Kurdish HDP will not be allowed to take their elected posts, and the mandate will instead be given to the runner-up candidates, which are AKP members.
"The step taken by the YSK is nothing but a part of an organized political plot" by the AKP and its political allies, the HDP's Oluc said, adding it would drag Turkey into a "very big chaos."