A women talks to volunteers promoting the AK Party on a street in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photographer: Miguel Angel Sanchez/Bloomberg)

Turkey’s Election Board Rejects Full Recount of Istanbul Votes

(Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s election board rejected a request by the ruling party for a full recount of votes in Istanbul after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushed for a rerun of the local election in the nation’s largest city following his party’s defeat there.

The board early Tuesday ordered a partial recount, covering 51 ballot boxes in 21 districts of Istanbul, and was yet to decide whether to cancel the election in another district, Buyukcekmece. The ruling party will ask the election board to review its decision on Istanbul, said Ali Ihsan Yavuz, a deputy chairman of the ruling AK Party.

Erdogan’s continuing pressure for another vote has fueled concern that an authoritarian streak in government is deepening, and has rattled investors in the Middle East’s leading economy. Turkish stocks and the lira rose early Tuesday as the board’s ruling held out the prospect of stability.

In the U.S., they redo “elections when there is one percentage point of difference in problematic votes,” Erdogan has said to buttress his case. He has said the Istanbul vote was marred by “widespread irregularities” and “organized fraud.”

The March 31 election left the opposition CHP party’s Ekrem Imamoglu ahead with a slim margin of votes.

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