OSCE to deploy 350 observers for Turkey’s snap election on June 24
“In addition to a core team of experts, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights recommends the secondment of 28 long term observers from OSCE participating States to follow the electoral process countrywide, and 350 short term observers to follow election day proceedings. In line with ODIHR’s standard methodology, the Election Observation Mission would include a media monitoring element,” the ODIHR said in its report dated May 16.
The ODIHR representatives, including Head of Elections Department Alexander Shlyk and joined by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Chief Political Adviser Francesco Pagani, held meetings at Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Board of Elections, the Radio and Television Supreme Council, and the state Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on May 8-10. They also spoke with political party officials and representatives of the volunteer election security monitoring group Vote and Beyond, as well as the Association of Journalists.
“Most of previous ODIHR recommendations remain unaddressed, including on removing restrictions on active and passive suffrage rights, enhancing regulations on the campaign and campaign finance, removing restrictive provisions on the media, addressing a lack of a possibility to challenge Supreme Board of Elections decisions and providing for international and citizen election observation,” the report read.
The ODIHR deployed 11 experts and 24 long-term observers to monitor Turkey’s controversial April 2017 constitutional referendum, in which a shift to an executive presidential system was narrowly approved by voters but many accusations of voting irregularities were made.
Proceedings on the day of the referendum were not systematically observed by the ODIHR and only a limited number of polling stations were visited. In total, 73 international observers were registered to observe the referendum.