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Turkey's Erdogan says Istanbul vote re-run is 'best step'

AFP  |  Ankara 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday welcomed a controversial order to re-run the recent Istanbul election after complaints of corruption as the "best step" for the country.

"We see this decision as the best step that will strengthen our will to solve problems within the framework of democracy and law," Erdogan told a meeting of his party members in parliament.

Erdogan's comments come a day after the top election body cancelled the March 31 vote that handed opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu a narrow lead over Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The AKP has refused to accept defeat, citing "irregularities and corruption" in the vote.

Erdogan on Tuesday talked of "organised crime" and "serious corruption" during the vote.

"The documents we have presented are quite solid and based on concrete evidence which cannot be disputed," he said.

"We sincerely believe there was organised corruption and irregularities."

He said that if his government did not bring to account the "thieves" who stole the "national will" at the ballot box, "our people will demand an explanation from us".

With 16 million residents, Istanbul is Turkey's economic engine and controls a major chunk of public spending.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 07 2019. 15:15 IST