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Turkish party disputes local election results

Tuesday - 4/1/2014, 11:39am  ET

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Police on Tuesday used water cannons to break up a protest by hundreds of people who had gathered outside Turkey's Supreme Election Council building in support of the country's main opposition party, which is challenging local election results in the capital Ankara.

The Republican People's Party's candidate appears to have narrowly lost to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party. It claims discrepancies between votes registered with the election board and the party's own ballot counts.

Hundreds of people shouted anti-government slogans and denounced alleged fraud before riot police moved in. Supporters of other political parties had joined the protest in a show of solidarity.

Erdogan's party swept Sunday's elections, winning some 45 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. The AKP candidate for Ankara -- the incumbent mayor -- received 44.7 percent while the opposition got 43.8 percent.

The opposition candidate for Istanbul, also alleging irregularities, has called for a recount there too, although the AKP won by a large margin.


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