Last call before the election

The June 7, 2015 election campaign is coming to a close.
It appears many voters have made up their minds. There are only a few days left to campaign. In the remaining days the parties will make their last-minute pleas to consolidate their supporters and pull the undecided.
This has been one of the ugliest campaigns I have ever seen. The fact that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been campaigning full time for his party despite his pledge to remain impartial has been a flagrant violation of the Constitution. It is extremely unfortunate and sad that Erdogan breached the Constitution in such a blatant manner. We will see how that will reflect on the outcome of the election. Erdoganand’s choice inescapably overshadowed Davutoilu and put him in a very difficult position. The language used in this campaign has been tremendously divisive, polarizing and outright discriminatory. The use of the holy book and Erdoganand’s overall instrumentalization of religion has not been seen before in this ostensibly secular republic. As a result Erdogan and the presidencyand’s standing have suffered immensely. This state of affairs has also confirmed how helpless the regime and the opposition parties were in the face of this open breach of the rules of the game. Once this era will come to a close there will surely be measures taken to prevent this anomaly repeating itself again.
This probably will be a defining election for Turkey. The electorate will make a critical choice. The Peoplesand’ Democratic Partyand’s (HDP) performance will be key to the final distribution in the new parliament. If the HDP passes the threshold, which appears likely if there is no election fraud, we might even see a coalition government. What this means for Erdogan is obvious and we would have a brand new political situation at hand.
A lot is at stake. Hence, election security is of great concern. There is plenty of speculation about preparations to rig the election. An attempt to rig the election would be disastrous. Although an unprecedented number of NGOs and citizens are preparing to monitor the election there is still a lot of concern about election fraud. The opposition parties carry great responsibility in preventing fraud and making sure there are observers at every ballot box. Their next task will be to gather all ballot box summaries quickly and see what the actual result is. There is a lot of mistrust towards the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and AA (Anadolu Agency), which have become shamelessly partisan and part of the manipulation of election results, as was evidenced in the local election in March 2014.
This has also been one of the most unfair election campaigns I have ever witnessed. The ruling party had no qualms about utilizing almost all available state assets. State television as well as the state news agency has been broadcasting in the most one-sided way possible.
It is very important that this election be clean. It is extremely important that all parties understand the significance to accept whatever the outcome of this election will be. It is with great regret that I need to write about these fundamentals of an election but this is what our current situation warrants. Let us hope that the June 7 election will help us consolidate our democracy. Let the Turkish electorate to be the and”sole arbiterand” of the future of this country.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman