CHP fails with appeal against election results in Hatay

The CHP has failed in its appeal to the highest electoral authority against the results of the local elections in Hatay despite allegations that votes from dead people were received in the province.

The Turkish opposition party CHP has failed in its appeal to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) against the results of the local elections in Hatay province. The CHP had levelled accusations of vote rigging and demanded a new election. Among other things, CHP argued that votes from deceased persons had been received and police officers had been appointed to chair the election committees. However, the YSK rejected the objection on Monday.

In the local elections in Turkey, the ruling AKP suffered a defeat just over a week ago and only became the second-strongest party. The CHP became the strongest force. In most Kurdish provinces, the DEM Party emerged victorious from the election.

In the province of Hatay, which was previously governed by the CHP, the AKP allegedly won with its candidate - and by a very narrow margin. According to the initial results, which have not yet been finalised, the AKP candidate received 44.48 percent. Lütfü Savaş from the CHP received 44.05 percent and was defeated by a margin of around 2,500 votes. The number of votes reportedly received by his party from dead people - mainly earthquake victims - was reportedly 3,389.

Although the epicentre of the series of earthquakes on 6 February 2023 was in Maraş, the greatest destruction occurred in Hatay. According to government figures, 53,000 people died, around 24,000 of them in Hatay. The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and various civil society organisations, however, estimate the actual number of earthquake deaths at around 130,000, around 40,000 of them in Hatay. In Antakya alone, 80 percent of the district was destroyed in the quake. Thousands of people are still missing. Both the CHP organisation in the province and the central government were heavily criticised following the disaster.