CoE wants to send delegation to Turkey to monitor repeat İstanbul election

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PHOTO: EUObserver

The Council of Europe (CoE) wants to send a delegation to Turkey to monitor the mayoral election in İstanbul, which will be repeated on June 23, the Diken news website reported on Friday.

The CoE’s request to send a delegation has been conveyed to the council’s permanent representative in Turkey, Kaan Esener.

In a controversial decision on Monday, Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) ordered that a new mayoral election be held in İstanbul, cancelling the results of the March 31 election.

The YSK announced its 7-4 decision due to allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost the race by a razor-thin margin in İstanbul.

Following the YSK’s decision Anders Knape, president of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, stressed the need to restore the safeguards of the electoral process to prevent a deep crisis of confidence on the part of Turkish voters for the state authorities.

“Repeating elections is an extraordinary measure and must be well-founded and substantiated in a transparent and impartial process, bearing in mind that all the necessary conditions for free and fair elections must be verified prior to the election day, as stipulated by international principles – and not afterwards,” he said.

Knape said the council would send a delegation to Turkey for the İstanbul election if Turkey sends an official invitation to the council.

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