Turkish, Russian electoral boards sign mutual cooperation agreement

The electoral authorities of Russia and Turkey signed an agreement for mutual cooperation on Friday, Turkey’s embassy in Moscow said in a tweet.

Said Güven, the head of Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK), signed the protocol with Ella Pamfilova, the chair of the Central Election Commission of Russia, the tweet said.

Russia’s last presidential election in March 2018 was significantly cleaner than previous elections, but there was “choice without competition” and the condition for free elections did not exist, monitors said. Russian President Vladimir Putin won over 76 percent of the vote with a turnout of 67.5 percent.

Turkey’s YSK was lambasted this year by foreign and domestic critics when it ruled to annul the opposition candidate’s victory in the country’s most populous city, Istanbul. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) appealed against the opposition’s victory, citing fraud by unnamed actors, but the allegations were regarded by many as unfounded.