The Supreme Election Council (SEC) has annulled the election for İstanbul Metropolitan Mayor that Ekrem İmamoğlu won.
The SEC has also ruled that İmamoğlu be stripped of his certificate of election!
Since the announcement of the ruling, the shared opinion resonating through reactions coming from all sections apart from the AKP-MHP has been, “A coup has been committed against the will of the people through the agency of the SEC.”
The SEC justified the annulment and repetition of the election saying, “The election committees were not duly constituted” and “The number of unduly constituted polling station committees was large enough to affect the election result.”
All observers of the process are aware that the SEC has ruled in line with the AKP and MHP’s wishes in dereliction of rights and justice, statute and many resolutions it itself has passed until now that could constitute a “precedent.”
One of the most nonsensical aspects of the SEC resolution is the deeming of votes cast for the İstanbul Metropolitan Mayoralty to be invalid while the votes cast for the municipal assembly and sub-provincial mayors that emerged from the same envelope are deemed valid!
SOMETHING APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN COOKED UP!
When the claim did the rounds in certain quarters concerning the SEC resolution to accept unstamped ballots in the 16 April referendum, “If the Erdoğan-Bahçeli alliance had lost the referendum, an objection would have been made to this SEC resolution and the referendum would have been annulled,” many people, myself included, thought “Give us a break with conspiracy theories to this extent!” But the developments and electoral trickery following the referendum have shown the claims about the unstamped ballots not to have been totally meritless.
This is because the idea is gaining ground that the appointments to the polling station committees used to justify the annulment of the İstanbul Metropolitan Mayoralty elections were made to create a subterfuge to enable the election to be annulled. As such, the annulment of this election was not a decision the SEC judges made of their own free will. On the contrary, this ruling was passed under the Erdoğan-Bahçeli alliance’s blatant pressurization of SEC members, and is the combined product of endeavours organized in the form of a multifaceted “operation” in which organized and contra methods were directed from a single centre and in which the process, having its inception in the Erdoğan-Yıldırım-Soylu-Gül meeting held at AKP İstanbul Provincial HQ on 3 April, was turned into a siege of the SEC also involving appointments that would turn polling station committees into a subterfuge.
LET ELECTIONS TAKE PLACE, BUT BE REPEATED UNTIL WE WIN!
The SEC’s most recent resolution has not simply left the whole 31 March election tarnished, but has robbed the principle that the winners replace the losers following elections of its inviolability. That is, if its power suffices, the loser of the election can rely on repeating the election until it wins! And this is a step in the transition to the non-recognition of election results, or even to a conception of “democracy” (fascism) that divorces elections from their basis in the will of the people. Indeed, Erdoğan, in saying that he did not accept the result of the 7 June election and was vindicated in the 1 November election, gave the necessary message to the “party-faithful members” of the SEC.
CALCULATIONS MADE AT HOME LIABLE TO GO AWRY IN THE MARKET PLACE
Essentially, the peoples of Turkey removed the AKP from thirteen years of single-party office in the 7 June 2015 election. The AKP succeeded in overturning the 7 June results in the 1 November 2015 election by terrorizing the country. But the 31 March election pushed the AKP back into the same abyss into which it fell on 7 June!
Now Erdoğan’s aim, by having the İstanbul Metropolitan Mayoralty elections repeated, is to alleviate the wound he took to the “Achilles’ heel” on 31 March.
However, the realities of life do not frequently conform to the plans as tabled. For this reason there is a saying about calculations made at home going awry in the market place.
For, the irregularity used to justify the annulment of the election citing the irregularities involved with polling station committees and the making of this objection by the party that has governed the country for seventeen years has also tarnished the presidential and parliamentary election and the 16 April referendum. And this is tantamount to bringing the presidential election and presidential system into question.
PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM WILL ALSO BE BROUGHT INTO QUESTION
It is thus no exaggeration to say that regardless of whether the İstanbul Metropolitan Mayoralty election slated for 23 June is boycotted or witnesses an energetic electoral contest, irrespective of its outcome, a period beckons in which the demand for a repetition of the presidential election will also be voiced.
I say, “irrespective of the outcome of the election,” because:
If İmamoğlu wins the 23 June election, politics will change to a course in which the 31 March election results will become open to even more detailed scrutiny. It has been accepted in Turkey, or even globally, that İmamoğlu won the 31 March election fair and square. So, even if Binali Yıldırım wins the “re-election,” debate will continue in the public mind and conscience as to whether he won a legitimate election.
For, in either case, it appears inevitable that the “single-man rule” known as the “Presidential System of Government” will be first among the issues to dominate the political agenda.
The AKP-MHP alliance has succeeded in pressurizing the SEC to get a “re-election resolution.” But, considering the conditions of the times we are passing through (economic crisis, domestic and external political developments), it is a universally known truth that it may trigger reactions that will amount to shooting itself in the foot.