Eight international bodies to monitor Turkey’s elections - AA

The Turkish Supreme Board of Election (YSK) has announced that eight international organizations are set to observe Turkey’s presidential and general elections taking place on June 24, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The announcement follows a call by Turkey’s opposition for increased monitoring after the leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) passed changes to election laws in March which critics argue could open the way to fraud.

The new law allows the YSK to merge electoral districts and move ballot boxes to other districts. Ballots not stamped by the local electoral board will still be admissible and members of the security forces will be allowed into polling station.

Turkey’s top election board provided accreditations to all the organizations that applied to have short and long-term observers stationed in Turkey, the agency said.

The organizations which will be ensuring that the the elections are fair, free and transparent environment are the following: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA), Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC), Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA), Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council), and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The observers are set to monitor voting procedures such as counting, casting and recording votes without interrupting polling boards after which they will prepare a report by monitoring campaigning process, election participation and whether international election standards are upheld.

OSCE published a report in May highlighting the need for an increase in the number of observers as Turkey heads to the polls on June 24.