Turkish cat
Cat blamed for power blackout@EbruAkman/Twitter

Turkey's energy minister Taner Yildiz has blamed widespread power blackouts that disrupted vote-counting after the local elections on a cat.

In what appeared to be an April Fools' joke, Yildiz said:

I'm not joking, my friends. A cat entered a power distribution unit. It was the cause of the blackout [in Ankara] and it's not the first time that it has happened. It is wrong to link it with the elections. It's wrong to cry 'foul play'.

Those who hid behind trees and green spaces in the Gezi Park [protests] are now hiding behind electric poles. This is very wrong. Opposition parties won in the districts where they filed these complaints. They behave like students who didn't study their lessons enough

The cat was presumably electrocuted when it caused the short circuit.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) of moderate Islamist prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan scored sweeping victories in municipal elections, despite a corruption scandal and street protests.

But Turkey's main opposition party, the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), said it would contest a poll win in Ankara after reports of vote-rigging.

Allegations of election fraud circulated on social media, with some complaining about the electricity blackouts in the Turkish capital and other cities. Votes had to be counted by candlelight.

The energy minister's cat-blaming attracted mockery on Twitter under the hashtag catlobby:

 Source: AFP and Doğan News Agency