Council of Europe to Turkey: Ensure recounting process is conducted freely
A Council of Europe bureau has urged Turkish authorities to ensure the recounting process of the March 31 local election votes is conducted “freely” and “without interference.”
“We call on the Turkish authorities to ensure that the Supreme Election Board and the District Election Boards are able to carry out their work in an open and transparent manner. We expect their work to be fully in compliance with international norms and standards, free from any and all inappropriate political interference and consistent with the rule of law,” the Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities said in a statement on April 4.
“Their work must be lawful, open and transparent and their adjudications fair, reasonable and honest. The judges must be free to work without interference,” it said.
The High Election Board (YSK) accepted an appeal made by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the recount of votes in several districts in Istanbul after the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate appeared to have narrowly won the race for Turkey’s largest province. The AKP submitted objections to the poll results, saying it had been impacted by invalid votes, meaning ballot papers with stamps on multiple parties.
“When challenges are made relating to many thousands of votes in many places questions inevitably arise about the integrity of the entire election process,” it added.
“We look to Turkey to ensure that the adjudication of these electoral challenges will be conducted fairly and honestly fully in accordance with the rule of law and the democratic choices made by the Turkish people,” it said.