OSCE parliamentarians to observe Turkey’s upcoming election

OSCE parliamentarians to observe Turkey’s upcoming election

OSCE parliamentarians to observe Turkey’s upcoming election

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Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) parliamentarians will observe the upcoming parliamentary election in Turkey and provide leadership for the OSCE’s short-term observer mission, the organization said in a written statement on May 19.

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ivica Dacic has designated Vilija Aleknaite Abramikiene from Lithuania as special coordinator to lead the short-term observer mission for the 7 June vote. Ignacio Sanchez Amor from Spain will serve as head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Delegation, which will include 50 MPs from 20 OSCE participating states.

“Ten months ago, during Turkey’s first direct presidential election, my fellow observers and I witnessed a vibrant political life but also noted some challenges that must be overcome,” said Abramikiene, who also served as OSCE special coordinator for the August 2014 observation mission. 

“I look forward to returning for this vote and hope to be able to report on progress that will allow Turkey to fully live up to the democratic aspirations of its people,” Abramikiene added.

Sanchez Amor said Turkey faces “real challenges.” 

“There is no doubt that Turkey exists in a tough neighborhood. The real challenges the country faces make it all the more critical for Turkey to hold elections that adhere to democratic standards, and we hope that the people and authorities will rise to the occasion,” he added.

OSCE parliamentary observers will deploy to polling stations across Turkey, working closely with long-term observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and in co-ordination with colleagues from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The mission will assess the elections against democratic commitments contained in the OSCE’s 1990 Copenhagen Document.

Abramikiene serves as a vice-president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and is the deputy head of Lithuania’s Delegation to the Assembly. She previously served two terms as rapporteur of the assembly’s Committee on Political Affairs and Security. She has been a member of the Lithuanian Parliament since 1992 and is a member of the Committee on European Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs.

Sanchez Amor serves as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on OSCE Border Issues and is the deputy head of Spain’s Delegation to the Assembly. In his national Congress he is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Joint Committee on the European Union. He has been a frequent participant in election observation missions, including to Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Serbia, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly observed the parliamentary election in Turkey in 2011 as well as the presidential election in 2014. Since 1993, more than 5,000 OSCE parliamentarians and staff have observed nearly 150 different elections in more than 30 countries.