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Feb 11 2019

Turkey’s ruling AKP to designate its own observers at polls on March 31

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will be designating party members as observers for each ballot box in Turkey’s March 31 local elections, pro-government Hürriyet Daily News reported.

President and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while speaking at a meeting with the observers in Istanbul yesterday, said there will 280,000 observers for the party and in case any problems occur during voting process, the observers will intervene immediately. 

There will be total of 195,000 ballot boxes throughout the country and the observers "will never leave the ballot boxes alone," Turkey’s strongman said, adding, "Some 300-350 voters are voting in a single ballot box. We were giving coffee to these people before. Now, we will distribute teas with our best wishes for them."

Erdoğan also stressed that 800 communication points had been established in 959 neighbourhoods in Istanbul. ‘’Through this program that we call ‘AK [white] ballot,' we are able to monitor these points any time," Erdoğan said.

Turkey’s local elections will determine mayors for 1,397 municipalities, as well as municipal council members in cities, muhtars (neighborhood and village administrative officers) and members of elder councils.

Turkey’s ruling AK Party received over 45.5 percent of the vote in the last local elections held on March 30, 2014.