European observers' 'election' assessment: 'In a sharply polarized environment...'

The Council of Europe observer mission, evaluating the March 31 local elections, noted that the elections across the country took place "in a sharply polarized environment."

Publication: 02.04.2024 - 13:12
European observers' 'election' assessment: 'In a sharply polarized environment...'
Abone Ol google-news

A European observer group stated that the local elections held on March 31 were competitive and offered citizens many options, but occurred "in a sharply polarized environment" where more needs to be done to ensure freedom of expression.

David Ray, head of the observation mission conducted by the Council of Europe, said at a press conference in Ankara, "Election day was generally calm and professionally organized with high participation, demonstrating citizens' strong commitment to democratic processes."

Deputy head of the mission, Vladimir Prebilic, noted:

"While we welcome the competitive nature of these elections and the ability of voters to choose from many options, we note that the local elections in Turkey in 2024 took place in a sharply polarized environment and were only partly conducive to local democracy."

Prebilic also mentioned that some of the Council of Europe's longstanding concerns regarding Turkey's election practices were not addressed.

"More needs to be done in line with the Council of Europe's principles of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights to ensure a political and media environment where genuine freedom of expression exists and a reasonable and well-applied framework is overseen by an independent judiciary," said Prebilic.

The observation team consisted of 26 observers from 16 European countries who monitored the voting process at more than 140 polling stations, including Istanbul and Ankara.

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