Germany says voters alone must decide on Istanbul mayor's office

FILE PHOTO: People walk past by AK Party billboards with pictures of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and mayoral candidate Binali Yildirim in Istanbul, Turkey, April 1, 2019. The billboards read: " Thank you Istanbul ". REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Turkish decision to scrap the result of a vote for Istanbul’s mayor lost by President Tayyip Erdogan’s candidate is neither transparent nor comprehensible, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday.

Turkish voters alone must decide on the mayor’s office, Maas said in a statement, adding that basic democratic principles and transparent election rules are paramount.

“The decision of the High Election Board to annul the local election in Istanbul and order a re-run is in our view not transparent and not comprehensible,” Maas said.

Reporting by Thomas Seythal; Editing by Madeline Chambers