PACE to send observers to Sunday's referendum

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 11.04.2017 21:40

Following an invitation from Turkish authorities, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is expected to send a 20-member delegation to Turkey to observe the referendum on the constitutional amendment package. The PACE delegation led by Romanian Parliamentarian Cezar Florin Preda will travel to Turkey from April 14-17 and will meet leaders and representatives of political parties in favor of the "yes" and "no"votes, the president of the Central Election Commission (YSK) and representatives of the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), before observing the April 16 voting process.

Apart from the PACE delegation from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will also observe the referendum. The ODIHR delegation that consists of 11 observers from seven different OSCE countries arrived in Ankara on March 17 to start their mission to observe the referendum.

The OSCE/ODIHR referendum observation mission will partner with a delegation from PACE and will observe the voting process across Turkey. On the day after the referendum, the delegation will release a preliminary statement of findings and conclusions.

Turkey has been an electoral democracy since 1950, and the fairness and freedom of Turkish elections have been praised by international observers. Most recently, the general elections in 2015 were observed by the OSCE and Council of Europe (CoE), with the organization saying, "Turkey's well-managed, democratic elections demonstrated pluralism."

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