Changes in Turkish voting legislation violated international standards - OSCE

Changing key parts of voting legislation in Turkey just a few weeks before elections in June in a hasty and non-inclusive way was problematic and contrary to international standards, the European legal experts said in their new opinion published on Friday.

The opinion was prepared by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The legal experts said that late amendments to electoral legislation undermined a fair and stable framework for holding elections and might be perceived as being politically biased. 

Late amendments also prevented those involved in elections to familiarise themselves with the new rules and allowed limited time for administrative preparations, the experts said. 

Reducing the minimum age for standing for election to parliament, allowing independent candidates to run for president, and providing for voting with mobile ballot boxes were positive steps in the new legislation, experts said.