(Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s governing AK Party officially demanded a new election for the mayor’s seat in Istanbul, alleging irregularities tainted the results of the March 31 vote that put an opposition candidate ahead by a small margin. The lira slid.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s refusal to concede defeat in Turkey’s largest city and commercial hub and his party’s pressure for a repeat election has been condemned by political opponents as an attack on the country’s democratic foundations and has rattled investors in the Middle East’s biggest economy. The lira was trading 0.3 percent weaker at 5.8204 per dollar at 4:08 p.m. in Istanbul.

The AKP submitted an “extraordinary objection” to the High Election Board on Tuesday, without waiting for the outcome of a partial recount of the votes in some districts of Istanbul. It’s previously requested a separate new election in the suburb of Buyukcekmece, citing irregularities in the registration of voters. The latest tally shows Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition’s candidate, leading his rival by around 14,000 votes in a city of 16 million people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at oant@bloomberg.net, Paul Abelsky

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