Swedish politician says int’l election mission threatened at gunpoint

Stockholmand’s housing and democracy commissioner has said there were and”blatant instances of fraudand” and international election observers had been threatened before Turkeyand’s general election on Sunday.
Speaking to Swedenand’s Dagensnyheter daily recently, Stockholmand’s Commissioner of Housing and Democracy Ann-Margarethe Livh said the election observation team from Sweden was threatened at gunpoint by and”soldiers with automatic weaponsand” in the southeastern province of BingandOl, the Cihan news agency reported.
According to Livh, whose announcement was headlined in many Swedish newspapers, the Swedish election observation team was told they had two minutes to leave the area. Livh did not mention which organization the Swedish observers were representing but said having international observers threatened was also a huge threat to democracy.
However, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observers in contrast said on Sunday they saw and”transparent and calmand” preparations for Turkeyand’s election everywhere they went.
Lithuanian deputy Vilija Aleknaite and Spanish deputy Ignacio Sanchez Amor spoke with citizens and election observers during the voting hours and took notes. Speaking to journalists, the OSCE observers said they were saddened by the explosion in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir on Friday.
At least two people were killed and more than 200 people were hospitalized on Friday after two explosions five minutes apart disrupted a pro-Kurdish Peopleand’s Democracy Partyand’s (HDP) election rally in Diyarbakir attended by thousands of people.
Another international election observation mission from the Council of Europe (CoE) set up a stand in Ankara University on Sunday and closely monitored the elections.
The claims of threats and coercion come amid Turkeyand’s most contested election in decades. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks a large majority for the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) to boost his power, even though his presidential role requires him to be impartial and independent. Erdogan has been a strong proponent of the presidential system of governance in Turkey and claims an executive presidency is necessary to bolster the regional influence and economic aances of NATO-member Turkey.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman