Turkish opposition challenges thousands of ballots

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint of irregularities in thousands of ballots cast in Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections.

The vote proved favorable to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his formation, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), defying polling institutions’ forecasts that saw the opposition united and able to win for the first time in twenty years.

The CHP said its vice president Muharrem Erçek disputed the results of the 2,270 ballot boxes used for the presidential election and the 4,825 ballot boxes for the legislative ones.

“We scrutinize every vote, even if it does not change the final result,” Muharrem Erçek told reporters in Ankara. He said that more than 200,000 ballot boxes were used in Turkey and for the diaspora for these elections.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan received 49.51% of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, slightly below the 50% threshold required to be directly elected.

According to the results of the Superior Electoral Council, he will meet his opponent Kemal Kilikdaroglu, the CHP candidate, who won 44.88% in the second round on 28 May.

A third candidate, the nationalist Sinan Ogan, won 5.17% of the vote.

(Reporting by Hüseyin Hayatsevar and Ali Kukugokmen; French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse Editing by Kate Enstringer)

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