133 parliamentarians from PACE, OSCE to monitor elections in Turkey 

A total of 133 parliamentarians representing the parliamentary assemblies of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will monitor the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey.

A 33-member delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE (PACE), led by Frank Schwabe (MEP, Germany), chairperson of the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group, will be in Turkey May 12-15, according to a statement from the assembly.

A member of the Venice Commission – the CoE’s group of independent legal experts – will provide support during the visit, the statement said.

A cross-party PACE delegation, comprising six members and led by Schwabe, paid a pre-electoral visit to Turkey April 12-13.

Ankara had earlier blocked Danish parliamentarian Soren Sondergaard and Swedish parliamentarian Kadir Kasirga, who had been appointed as members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s election observation mission, from monitoring the vote.

The OSCE PA has said it will deploy an election observation mission including more than 100 members to Turkey. Michael Georg Link (MP, Germany) has been appointed by the OSCE chairman-in-office as special coordinator, and Farah Karimi (MP, Netherlands) will serve as head of the OSCE PA delegation.

Four candidates have qualified to run in Turkey’s presidential election, according to a list announced by the country’s election authority.  

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is seeking re-election, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Homeland Party leader Muharrem İnce and Sinan Oğan, the candidate of a bloc of four far-right parties, are the four candidates who have qualified to run in the presidential election.

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