CHP says poll safety will be a priority in future polls

CHP says poll safety will be a priority in future polls

Rifat Başaran - ANKARA
CHP says poll safety will be a priority in future polls

Electoral justice and electoral security will be a primary topic in the following years as Turkey gets into an election period in 2019, said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. 

Kılıçdaroğlu penned the preface for former Supreme Court President Sami Selçuk’s book titled “A Scientific Outlook for April 16 Referendum” on the April 2017 constitutional referendum. 

“It seems electoral justice and electoral security particularly will occupy the agenda as an issue of priority in the following years,” Kılıçdaroğlu wrote.

The CHP contests the constitutional referendum stating the Supreme Board of Election’s (YSK) decision to deem unsealed ballot papers valid was a violation of the law and there were visible voting irregularities. 

According to Kılıçdaroğlu, the YSK “had neglected its supervision and auditing duties gravely” and named the referendum as an “unsealed election.”

“First of all, the YSK had not audited the president’s intervention in the campaign, who is obliged by constitution to be impartial. Then, it allowed the elections to be held by the state of emergency decrees. Lastly, it has shaken the legitimacy of the referendum by accepting unsealed ballot papers,” he wrote. 

“With an unsealed election, the will of the people was seized and unlawful constitutional ground for a one-man regime was established,” he said.

He also vowed to continue “the struggle against the referendum.”

“It does not just stand for the people who voted ‘no’ in the constitutional amendment, it is an effort to protect the right of each and every vote for 49,798,855 voters, no matter which side they are on,” he added. 

“Authoritarian regimes do not naturally side with electoral safety since they are not very keen on democracy,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, criticizing the current Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of being “authoritarian.”

“Unjust elections coming from unjust campaigns and fraudulent voting are used as an instrument for legitimization in authoritarian regimes. In the last 10 years in our country, electoral safety has become a serious problem,” he said. 

“Both campaigning equality and electoral security have been destroyed to an extent that it has become a threat to democracy. These unjust elections have started to destroy the belief in democracy,” he added.