Cross-party PACE delegation pays pre-electoral visit to Turkey 

A cross-party delegation of observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is paying a pre-electoral visit to Turkey April 12-13 to assess the election campaign and political climate prior to presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, according to a press release from PACE.

The delegation, comprising six members and led by Frank Schwabe, chairperson of the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group, is due to meet with the presidential candidates or their representatives, the speaker of parliament, the leaders or representatives of the main political parties competing in the elections and members of the Turkish delegation to PACE.

Four candidates have qualified to run in Turkey’s presidential election, according to a preliminary list announced by the country’s election authority, the Supreme Election Board (YSK).

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.

According to the press release, meetings are also scheduled with officials organizing the election and overseeing the rules applying to media coverage as well as representatives of NGOs, the media and the diplomatic community.

A full 40-member delegation from PACE will also travel to Turkey in May to observe the voting alongside other international partners, PACE said.

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