Gov’t, opposition fearing voting fraud in Turkish elections
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli addresses his supporters in Mersin, March 24. AA photoWith just days to go before crucial local elections in Turkey, concerns about the credibility of ballots are being raised from varying parts of the political spectrum.
The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Ayşenur İslam and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli have been the latest figures to raise questions on the issue.
İslam, Turkey’s Family and Social Policy Minister, claimed that the way her party could be beaten on March 30 was “through cheating.”
“They will do everything they can in the last five days. There will be evil and dirt. Get ready for this,” she said. “The worst will be made on the ballots on March 30. Our friends in the ballots will be the ones to disrupt their calculations.”
İslam claimed that the volunteers standing at the ballots counting the votes had a harder task “than the bowmen in the Battle of Uhud,” where the Muslims defeated the Meccan army in 625.
The opposition voiced similar concerns. “For example there are 50 ballots in a school. A Party has 11 votes. When the volunteer is not around, somebody comes along and adds a number to the list, makes a Party’s vote 111,” Bahçeli told his supporters in Mersin yesterday. “I address to the volunteers assigned to ballots. You will be fasting during a mission that day. You may stay hungry, you may not drink a tea.”
“But you should not let anybody steal the rights of our citizens, who are going to the ballots while trusting you,” Bahçeli said.