Fraud a fear in upcoming Turkish elections – think-tank

Should Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan begin to lose his confidence over upcoming elections on June 24, there is ample reason to fear fraud, according to a new three-part report by the Washington, DC-based Bipartisan Policy Center.

“In the case of a blatantly fraudulent election, the political fallout would largely differ from that of a more legitimate win in relation to the opposition’s reaction,” report authors Nicholas Danforth and Jessica Michek said.

“Were evidence of irregularities to emerge after the vote, Ince has already announced he will show up in front of the office of the Supreme Electoral Council in Ankara and call on his supporters to join him.”

However, they said, if the election is rigged and the opposition does not act, the rigging will likely make little difference.

The authors also make it clear that Turkey’s democratic culture, whilst deeply dented in recent years, is still very much alive.

“Without downplaying the importance of the coming election, it would be a mistake to expect that the battle for Turkish democracy will either be won or lost in the coming weeks,” they said.

“Turkey remains a dynamic society with a long democratic history whose political struggles will continue whatever happens at the ballot boxes this summer. As a result, U.S. policymakers should not assume that, if Erdoğan prevails again, Turkey will simply slide into a period of stable autocratic rule.”