The nation’s difficult election
There are some serious claims regarding probable election fraud. Most of these claims cannot be substantiated with any reasonable explanation. Some of them, however, are verified with numerous, indeed, massive first-hand complaints.
Apart those claims that the ruling party would electronically play with the election results, most complaints can be divided into two main groups: 1) Pressure on the electorate to vote for a certain party, and 2) Use of public or some other funds, resources, governance opportunities to buy the votes of members of the public.
It is not only the ruling party but also the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that is facing some serious charges. According to some accusations, the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) gang has been holding hostage the will of southeastern citizens with threats that those voting for any other party but the HDP will pay a serious price. That such a threat has been issued by a heinous gang on international terrorist organization lists cannot be a surprise to anyone. The gang pressuring the people to vote for the HDP – or pay with their lives – cannot be an exaggeration in view of the history of the gang.
Such claims were refuted in a satellite interview by the chieftain of the gang with the Europe-based Med Nuçe TV of the PKK. Murat Karayılan said the PKK was not pressuring the people to vote for the HDP. He said not only that the gang avoid using force until the end of the election but that claims that it was pressuring people to vote for the HDP were “unfounded” even if the gang was supportive of the HDP. “We are supportive of the HDP Project, but we are not responsible for them... Neither are they responsible of us.”
Local claims prove just the opposite. Anyhow, can the remark of a terrorist chieftain be reliable? On the other hand, as was seen in the Istanbul during the weekend while a deputy of the ruling party was visiting a market area, expressing disdain with the ruling party or refusing to shake hands with a deputy might produce bruises to the face. Why? Because the majoritarian mentality has reached the level of expecting everyone to worship even a not-so-bright parliamentarian. The president has been massively exploiting his powers and public means to propagate against the opposition, violating constitutional impartiality clauses at every turn, while the chief prosecutor of the country has apparently shelved his constitutional responsibility and avoided even complaining about the blatant and open breaches of the constitution by the president. Is it reasonable for a president to kick off political rally from a city square and hold, at the very same square, a rally supportive of the ruling party under the disguise of “meeting the nation?” Obviously for all the criminalities of this period, a day will come when those perpetrators will have to pay in front of courts, but for now, the country, state, governance system and elections all appear to be falling prey to them.
Which is more horrendous? The state, governance system and the nation being held hostage by a majoritarian obsession and a man preoccupied with establishing his absolute power or a heinous gang of terrorists trying to fool the public that it has not been threatening and forcing people in southeastern Anatolian areas to vote for its political extension?
Who is more credible? The terrorist chieftain vowing the gang will stay away from the use of violence right through until the end of the election process and respect the will of the citizens, or the president of the country who says he has been “close to all parties” after bashing for hours all the opposition parties and lashing out at every single demand for democratic governance, respect for norms and principles of democracy?
Apart many other reasons all said so far, these were just some of the pressing reasons that make the June 7 elections so important for Turkey. Should the nation vote to consolidate the president’s hopes to transform himself into a super president who would single-handedly rule the country with an anti-democratic “union of powers” understanding? Or, should it vote in a manner to give the separatist gang’s political extension the situation of kingmaker in the new legislature but help the fragile sui generis democracy of the country evolve into a better democracy through embracing norms and values of democracy? Is there a third option? Well there appears to be the “technical” option, an option some software genius might offer to the ruling party.
There are claims that there will be at least some 10 percent “electronic theft” in favor of the ruling party during the digital count of votes. Can that happen? Well, did it happen during the Ankara mayoral vote last year when, because of a “stray cat,” we had a 20-minute electricity cut?
This will be a very difficult election with some very hard choices... What to save? The nation, democracy, the party or the obsessions of the tall man?