Voting ends in diplomatic missions abroad

Voting ends in diplomatic missions abroad

Voting ends in diplomatic missions abroad

Voting ends at the diplomatic missions abroad on May 9 for Türkiye’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14 at home, while citizens abroad can still cast votes at border gates.

Polling stations were closed in most European countries yesterday. However, voting will continue in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and Luxembourg until late May 9.

Turkish citizens have voted without needing to book an appointment at designated election bureaus, while they have also been able to cast ballots at border gates at 156 points across 73 countries.

Those who couldn’t vote during the designated period can cast their ballots at 46 customs gates until May 14.

In the countries where the voting process completed at the election bureaus, planes were rented to bring the votes cast to Türkiye. The planes host a commission for the transfer of ballot bags to Ankara, a diplomatic courier and personnel to be assigned by the Supreme Election Board (YSK). Political party representatives are also able to attend all stages as observers.

In the event of a possible runoff, citizens will cast votes between May 20 and 24 at the designated offices and until May 28 at customs.

Voters choose between four presidential hopefuls — President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, along with Muharrem İnce and Sinan Oğan.

Meanwhile, 24 political parties and 151 independent candidates are vying for seats in the 600-member parliament.

Turkish expatriates have shown a high civic engagement in the May 14 elections, as they line up in long queues outside the consulates to cast their ballots, prompting the government to set up extra ballot boxes in some countries.

As of May 8, over 1.6 million Turks living abroad had cast their votes to elect the country’s new president and parliamentary representatives, according to YSK.

Upon a failure to agree with Germany, housing the most significant Turkish diaspora and also the highest number of voters with around 1.5 million, on the establishment of ballot boxes for the first time in nine cities, the YSK decided to establish a total of 42 additional ballot boxes near these regions.

The board also agreed in a meeting to set up a total of 32 extra ballot boxes in France, the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg.

Türkiye carried ballot boxes to Belarus, Brazil, Estonia, Morocco, Montenegro, the Republic of Korea, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Slovakia and Tanzania for the first time in the country’s history. The council, meanwhile, canceled the ballot box to be established in Sudan due to the escalating conflicts in the North African country.

Overseas votes could prove decisive as they could contribute to up to half a percentage point in the presidential polls and potentially sway the results.