The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) parliamentarians will travel to Turkey next week to observe the upcoming presidential elections and provide leadership for the OSCE’s short-term observer mission, the group announced on Tuesday. The OSCE delegation, which includes more than 20 parliamentarians from 15 participating OSCE states, will be led by Asa Lindestam, chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s General Committee on Political Affairs and Security. On Aug. 10, for the first time voters will go to polling stations to elect the next president by popular vote. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, a second round will be held for the two top candidates on Aug. 24.
“This vote will be a milestone in Turkey’s history as it is its first direct presidential election. We hope that its conduct will demonstrate Turkey’s adherence to democratic commitments which must be fully respected not only during this period of elections, but throughout society in the months and years to come,” said Aleknaite Abramikiene, the special coordinator of the mission, in a written OSCE statement on Tuesday. “Strengthened democracy in Turkey could also have a significant positive impact on the region at large,” she added.
Concerns have emerged over the reliability of the results after widespread complaints of fraud during the recent local elections on March 30. “Members of the delegation will travel to polling stations in several regions of Turkey, working closely with long-term observers from the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Limited Election Observation Mission and in coordination with colleagues from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE),” the statement read.
Full Article: OSCE to observe presidential elections in Turkey.