CHP offers to assign parliamentary team to hold secure election in Cizre

CHP offers to assign parliamentary team to hold secure election in Cizre

CHP offers to assign parliamentary team to hold secure election in Cizre

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The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has reiterated its willingness to provide election security as part of a joint parliamentary delegation in three neighborhoods of the southeastern district of Cizre in which authorities have decided not to conduct any voting due to security concerns.

Politics is the place for a solution, CHP Secretary-General Gürsel Tekin told reporters on Sept. 29.

“In regards to those particularly problematic and controversial three neighborhoods, as the secretary-generals of the four political parties, we could take charge as a ballot box committee, go there and solve this problem there,” Tekin said.

Earlier, the head of an election observation team from the top European security body said they would also observe the situation in Cizre.

“The principle must be that every citizen who is entitled to vote has a possibility of casting his vote under democratic conditions,” Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens, the head of the election observation mission from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said at a press conference in Ankara on Sept. 28.

The District Election Council in Cizre decided on Sept. 18 to not establish any ballot box in the district’s Cudi, Nur and Sur neighborhoods, as well as many villages. The decision cited security concerns and the risk of bomb attacks during the vote as the reason to prevent voting in the areas. 

“I and my friends are ready on this issue as the CHP. I hope that we go there if the other three political parties [represented in parliament] are also ready. There should no place in this [country] where elections cannot be held,” Tekin said. “Every political party should take responsibility in order not to encounter a new massacre in the international arena and in order to have a fair election. As the CHP, we are ready to take any manner of responsibility,” he added.

Besides “flaws in past elections,” authorities also cited “ditches and barricades” established by militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the neighborhoods as reasons that the vote could not be held.

More than 48,000 people in the Cudi, Nur and Sur neighborhoods out of a total 66,000 eligible voters in the prominently Kurdish populated town will be affected by the decision.

Dozens were killed during an eight-day siege between Sept. 4 and 12 in Cizre, as security forces clashed with locals in the district.