Turkish prosecutors investigate Istanbul election tampering

Winner of the Istanbul Municipality Akram Emamoglu during the elections
Winner of the Istanbul Municipality Akram Emamoglu during the elections

Turkish prosecutors launched 32 investigations into allegations of irregularities in Istanbul's local elections on March 31 and summoned more than 100 polling station officials for questioning as suspects, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Thursday.

President TayyipErdogan's AK Party (AKP) has called for the annulment and re-run of theIstanbul vote, a prospect that has kept Turkish financial markets on edge. Initialresults and some recounts of the nationwide local elections showed that AKPlost control of Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

The main opposition secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), in alliance with smaller parties, won the mayoralty in both cities and ended a quarter century of control by the AKP and its Islamist predecessors, a blow to Erdogan.

The investigationsfocused on Istanbul's Maltepe, Kadikoy and Atasehir districts, Anadolu said.The suspects were being probed over allegations of violations of election lawand abuse of position in counting votes and entering dates, it said. TheIstanbul prosecutor's office declined to comment.

The High ElectionBoard is yet to rule on the AKP challenge to the Istanbul election result. Amonth after the elections, AKP officials are questioning their alliance withthe smaller Nationalist Movement Party, which some blame for one of its biggestelectoral setbacks.

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