Turkish opposition, NGOs form alternative platform for vote count

Turkish opposition, NGOs form alternative platform for vote count

ISTANBUL
Turkish opposition, NGOs form alternative platform for vote count

Four opposition parties in Turkey and a number of NGOs have formed an alternative platform to count, validate and announce the number of votes to the public on June 24 election day.

The “Fair Election Platform” includes the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), İYİ (Good) Party and Felicity Party, which forms the Nation Alliance, as well as the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

NGOs, including labor unions DİSK and KESK, have also joined the platform.

The platform’s spokesperson, Nesteren Davutoğlu, said during a press conference in Istanbul on June 21 that they mobilized 415,000 ballot box committee members and 195,000 witnesses and volunteers, claiming they would guarantee that “99.9 percent of votes would be counted correctly” on the election day.

“No voter should have an excuse citing vote security anymore. We urge them to go vote on election day and follow up during the counting,” Davutoğlu said, adding that they will live-update the latest results on their website as counting proceeds.

The Fair Election Platform’s count would be an alternative to live results that would be published by the state-run Anadolu Agency, she added.

“There would be no doubts cast on the votes,” Davutoğlu said.

The move comes amid widespread scepticism over the accuracy of news coverage by Anadolu Agency, state broadcaster TRT, and private broadcasters, which have all come under fire during the campaign period for highly imbalanced reporting in favour of the government. As was the case in last year’s controversial April 2017 referendum, marred by allegations of fraud, this year Anadolu Agency will be the only news agency reporting results.

Six candidates are running for president, including one from a prison cell, while eight political parties are taking part in the parliamentary elections on June 24.

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Fair Election Platform, June 24 elections, Turkey Elections 2018, Turkish elections