OSCE observer mission arrives in Turkey ahead of Sunday’s elections

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have arrived in Turkey to monitor Sundayandrsquos parliamentary elections in the country.
The observer mission will assess the elections against democratic commitments contained in the OSCEandrsquos 1990 Copenhagen Document, according to a statement by OSCE on Thursday.
The OSCEandrsquos short-term observer mission comprises nearly 50 OSCE parliamentarians from 20 countries.
The parliamentarians, who have begun arriving in Ankara, will participate in two days of briefings ahead of election day. The briefings will include representatives of the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK), party representatives, members of the media and civil society, representatives of the Radio and Television Supreme Council and long-term observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
The OSCE statement said the leaders of the OSCEandrsquos short-term observer mission for Turkeyandrsquos upcoming parliamentary vote have already completed visits to Adana and Diyarbakir provinces, respectively.
Vilija Aleknaite Abramikiene, a Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly from Lithuania who is serving as Special Co-ordinator of the short-term OSCE observer mission, visited Adana province in south-central Turkey on Wednesday and Thursday.
She met with Governor Mustafa Buyuk representatives of the Provincial Election Board representatives of several political parties representatives of civil society, including a votersandrsquo group and long-term observers from ODIHR.
and”The bombing of the Peopleandrsquos Democratic Party (HDP) offic in Adana two weeks ago was a vivid reminder that Turkey has real security challenges. I was therefore pleased to hear from candidates and to personally witness that parties remain very active and engaged in campaigning for votes. I expect the Turkish authorities to continue doing their utmost to guarantee security on election day for all candidates, party representatives, facilities, and of course voters, whom I hope will turn out in large numbers,and” said Aleknaite Abramikiene.
Ignacio Sanchez Amor an MP from Spain, who is serving as Head of the OSCE PA Delegation of observers, traveled to Diyarbakir province in southeastern Turkey.
There he met with Governor Huseyin Aksoy representatives of the Provincial Election Board representatives of several political parties, including human rights and womenandrsquos groups and long-term observers from the OSCEODIHR.
and”I have certainly taken note of security considerations in Diyarbakir and other Turkish provinces near the Syrian border and have followed the situation in these areas carefully. I have been particularly impressed by the great amount of solidarity demonstrated by the local population vis-andagrave-vis the tragedy of the Syrian refugees, whom the peopl call their andlsquoSyrian guests,andrsquoand” said Sanchez Amor, who is also the OSCE PAandrsquos Special Representative on OSCE Border Issues.
and”But my meetings have also addressed the many other facets of this election, including the media environment and other aspects of the campaign period. These will all factor into the OSCEandrsquos assessment of this vote,and” he added.
On 7 June, the OSCE parliamentary observers will deploy to polling stations across Turkey.
Aleknaite Abramikiene and Sanchez Amor, in conjunction with other appropriate officials, will deliver the missionandrsquos statement of preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference in Ankara on June 8.
Turkey is heading towards a crucial parliamentary election amidst concerns of vote-rigging. Turkeyand’s prominent Twitter whistleblower Fuat Avni has recently xposed what he claims are the names of polling clerks who will take part in Sundayand’s elections and engage in election fraud for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The whistleblower has long been voicing claims over the ruling AK Partyand’s alleged plans for election fraud, saying that the ruling party will do whatever it can to retain its majority in Parliament.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman