The result of the recent local election in Istanbul has been nullified and a new vote will be held on June 23, as per a final decision by Turkey’s Supreme Election Council. The council was assessing an objection brought by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which argued that the result was invalid due to the participation of workers who were not civil servants at the polling stations (in breach of Turkish law). In the end, the electoral authorities voted 7 to 4 in favor of a re-run.
These dramatic events eliminate any remaining doubt over this election being a referendum on the Justice and Development Party’s decades of rule and, more specifically, President Erdogan’s omnipresence in Turkish political life.
The June 23 vote won’t only determine the leader of a city; it will set the future course for Turkey’s democracy.