OSCE: Counting process of votes was transparent, well-organized in Nov 1 elections

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 02.11.2015 20:56

Following the Nov. 1 elections, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced their preliminary findings in which they claimed that the elections were professional and well organized. The assessment by the observers further contended that the Supreme Election Board (YSK) met all of the election deadlines.

During a press briefing on Monday, Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens, the head of the OSCE/ODIHR Limited Election Observation Mission (LEOM), thanked the government and election institutions for their participation before saying that though there were positive elements from their findings, there were also shortcomings. Though the OSCE report revealed that most candidates were able to convey their message to the electorate, due to the increased terror attacks and threats by the PKK terrorist organization, the OSCE observers underlined that the terror and violence had restricted some candidates' ability to campaign freely. The preliminary findings also added that the freedom to campaign in any language, which was guaranteed by law in 2014 by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, has been noted as a positive step.

Continuing on with the assessment, the OSCE delegation underlined that despite the shortened election calendar, the YSK was able to meet all of the deadlines. In regards to the candidate profiles, the findings indicated that "the candidate registration was inclusive, offering voters a diverse and genuine choice." Overall, there were 8,426 candidates from the lists of 16 political parties and 21 independent candidates registered for the elections.

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