Opposition candidate İhsanoğlu: 18 million additional ballot papers printed

Opposition candidate İhsanoğlu: 18 million additional ballot papers printed

Opposition candidate İhsanoğlu: 18 million additional ballot papers printed

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Presidential hopeful Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu has raised concerns over the transparency of the upcoming elections, as he has said some additional 18 million ballot papers were printed.

He based his claims on the figure presented by a recent study by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) group.

“Some 18 million extra ballot papers were printed,” said İhsanoğlu, the joint candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the elections on Aug. 10, at a press meeting in the central Anatolian province of Eskişehir on Aug. 5, recalling the total number of eligible voters is 50 million.

“Of course, some of the papers could be destroyed due to rains or floods. But what does an additional 18 million papers mean? Under whose command will these 18 million papers be used? How will they be used? How will they not go to the wrong places?” he asked, also repeating a question from the OSCE on the judicial grounds for such a move.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu hosted Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens, the head of a limited election observation mission (LEOM) of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) working in Turkey for the presidential election.

The group released July 31 an interim report, which said “The prime minister’s campaign activities are large-scale events, often combined with official government events. While other candidates actively campaign, the public visibility of their campaigns is limited.”

İhsanoğlu said the issue of additional ballots was included in the OSCE’s report after talks with Turkey’s Supreme Board of Election (YSK), as he said those responsible of such an act would face the judiciary and the people if they do not have an explanation.

The election code, prepared roughly seven years ago after a decision to elect the president via public voting, was “absurd,” as it caused injustice among the candidates.

The code paves the way for the ruling party to use public funds to support its campaign. “This would not happen even in third world countries,” he said.