Turkish lawmakers vote down inquiry into state news agency over election coverage

Turkish lawmakers voted against a parliamentary inquiry into state-run Anadolu news agency after it stopped issuing results of the March 31 local elections when it looked like the ruling party was losing at the polls for the new mayor of Istanbul, independent news site Diken reported.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and ally far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), who retain a majority in parliament, voted against the inquiry requested by Turkey's main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), it said.

CHP deputy leader Veli Ağbaba, along with lawmakers from centre-right Good (İYİ) Party, said authorities should examine the agency's credibility and objectivity and whether the government ordered it to interrupt publishing results on the night of the contested polls.

The agency stopped updating election results for 13 hours until the Supreme Election Council (YSK) announced that opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu had, according to unconfirmed results, won by almost 28,000 more votes against ruling AKP candidate in Istanbul, Binalı Yıldırım.

The AKP, following numerous district recounts, has submitted an extraordinary appeal to the YSK for the cancellation and rerun of the local elections in Istanbul. The YSK has yet to announce its decision.