Turkey’s opposition groups establish Fair Election Platform

Turkey’s five opposition parties along with nongovernmental organizations and union confederations have formed a Fair Election Platform in Ankara in order to ensure poll security in the upcoming June 24 elections, according to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.

“We, nongovernmental organizations, civil initiatives and professional and labor organizations, have joined forces in order to ensure a fair and safe election environment, and without any doubt, a reflection of free will onto the polls,” said the joint declaration of the platform read aloud at a press conference on Thursday in Ankara.

“Our main goal is for the results to reflect the electorate’s actual votes and for the election to be finalized in a fair and secure manner,” it added.

Five parties, including the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the İYİ Party and the Felicity Party (SP) with the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), Confederation of Public Laborers Unions (KESK) and 10 civil initiatives such as the Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD) and Unity for Democracy, signed the joint declaration, pledging to work together in the June 24 elections.

The platform came as opposition parties have been expressing their objection to a legislative amendment approved in March that brings changes in electoral procedures, arguing that the changes will cast a shadow over election security.

The CHP had appealed to the Constitutional Court for cancellation of certain articles, including an article that authorizes the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) to change the composition of voting districts and to move and consolidate polling stations if it deems necessary for security reasons. The top court rejected the main opposition’s appeal on Thursday, the same day the platform was formed.

The platform members said they would establish “a joint press and communication center” for the election and delegate exclusive observers to the ballot boxes to ensure a simultaneous update of voting results. “All participants of the platform will work together to delegate ballot box committee members and observers to ensure that there will not be any empty boxes,” the declaration stated.

Reminding that the YSK had already changed the location of polling stations for 144,000 voters in a decision on May 28, they stated that they would triple the number of people in their delegations at every polling station that had been transferred to another district. “We will be ready in 972 villages in Turkey,” said CHP deputy leader Onursal Adıgüzel.

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