MHP unveils election manifesto promising 'national revival'
Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has unveiled its election manifestoahead of the June 24 early elections. The manifesto, with a tagline “National Revival, Blessed Uprising”, calls for reforms to bring economic relief to farmers, retired people and families of disabled, martyred people and veterans.
The MHP election manifesto emphasized five topics, including "Smart state and public administration", "justice", "combatting corruption", "multifaceted and multi-dimensional foreign policy" and "industrialization and SMEs."
The election manifesto of the Nationalist Party also promised economic relief for traders, such as tax-free fuel, cutting off VAT for farmers and reducing taxes for seed, seedling and agricultural pesticide. The MHP pledged early retirement for veterans, employment for the children of martyred people and increase in salaries of their parents. The party also vowed to grant amnesty except for those who were put behind bars in terrorism-related crimes -- including Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members -- child abusers, rapists and femici. Source
A public opinion poll conducted by the Mediar polling company indicates that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may not win a majority in the first round of votes in the presidential election on June 24, while Muharrem İnce among opposition party candidates is expected to challenge Erdoğan in the second round, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Thursday.
According to the poll, which was conducted between May 22 and 23 on 4,268 people in 26 provinces, Erdoğan garnered 43.50 percent support in the first round of votes, whereas Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate İnce had 22.20 percent, İYİ (Good) Party candidate Meral Akşener had 19.31 percent, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) candidate Selahattin Demirtaş had 12.79 percent, Felicity Party (SP) candidate Temel Karamollaoğlu had 1.61 percent and the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP) candidate Doğu Perinçek had 0.60 percent. Read the full article
CHP, MHP to unveil election manifestos as Erdoğan starts campaigning
With four weeks to go to snap parliamentary and presidential elections, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will declare their election manifestos this weekend, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will hit the road for his election campaign rallies.
The CHP’s official campaign slogan will be “We’re coming for the nation,” while its logo will read “Enough,” Deputy CHP leader and spokesman Bülent Tezcan said at a press conference on May 25.
The CHP’s manifesto will be read out by party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who will also introduce the CHP’s candidates to run for parliament in the June 24 vote. Read the full article
HDP kicks off election campaign in Turkey’s Edirne
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) officially started its campaign on May 25 in the northwestern province of Edirne, where former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has been jailed since November 2016 on terrorism charges.
Current HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli issued a press statement on May 25 in front of the prison where Demirtaş is held, saying they “hoped Demirtaş would be released as soon as possible.”
The HDP has presented Demirtaş as its presidential candidate for the upcoming elections to be held on July 24 and the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) officially approved his candidacy on May 13.
Buldan, Temelli, and a number of other HDP members requested to visit Demirtaş in person on May 25 but their request was turned down by the authorities. Read the full article
Where have you been for the last 16 years: İYİ Party leader Akşener to AKP
İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has slammed the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) election manifesto for the upcoming June 24 elections, saying it made promises to fix the problems they created during their 16-year tenure. “What have you done in the past 16 years?” Akşener said at an election rally in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on May 25, criticizing the AKP’s 16 years in power.
Her comments came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan introduced his AKP’s election manifesto on May 24, proposing to bring “more democracy and prosperity” to Turkey. “They say they will improve the economy. But he himself [Erdoğan] is the one who caused Turkey to deindustrialize indefinitely,” she said. “They ruined our economy because of wrong policies for 16 years. Now they cannot put it back together,” she said.
She criticized the government’s privatizations and tax reforms, saying the ruling party “linked Turkey’s economy to only the construction sector.” “They are incapable of managing this economy,” she said. She also criticized the public expenditure of the ruling party, accusing AKP officials of “spending taxpayers’ money on luxury.”
“You shouldn’t be drinking water from glasses worth 1,200 liras or drinking tea worth 50,000 liras,” she said. "You cannot make your name by building palaces,” she added. Source
Erdoğan promises ‘more democracy, strong economy’ after June 24 elections
Broadened freedoms and rights, a stronger administrative system and a strong economy are among the main promises of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced while unveiling his manifesto for the June 24 early elections and introducing his candidates for parliament.
“The new era will be the era of a strong parliament and strong government. These two basic powers will be complemented by an independent judiciary. In the new period the parliament will be stronger, the government will be stronger and the independent judiciary will be more effective,” Erdoğan said on May 24, reading the manifesto. The AKP’s 360-page manifesto stressed on the new executive system, approved by the 2017 referendum on constitutional amendments, which will fully come into force after parliamentary and presidential elections are held on June 24.
“With the presidential executive system, the principle of the separation of powers will have a ground to be implemented in a healthier manner, while the executive branch will have well-coordinated and efficient functions,” the manifesto read. Source
ODIHR opens observation mission for Turkey’s snap elections
The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) formally opened its election observation mission in Turkey on May 24 for the snap presidential and parliamentary elections to take place on June 24.
Along with 12 experts based in Ankara, 22 long-term observers and will be deployed throughout the country, OSCE Ambassador Audrey Glover told reporters in Ankara on May 24.
Some 350 short-term observers and members from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the OSCE will also join the team, Glover said. On the day after the elections, the mission will join with observer delegations from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and PACE to issue a statement on preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference.
The body has opted to increase its number of observers because “it is thought that it will be useful and interesting to have some short-term observers here to observe the whole electoral process thoughout the country,” Glover said.
“We have noted the legal frameworks that have changed and the areas that remain a concern for us. There are also changes in election procedures and vote-counting procedures that will require the presence of a short-term observers. In addition to that, some interlocutors have expressed concerns about the election administration, which is one of the reasons we have recommended a higher number of observers,” said Vladimir Misev, an OSCE/ODIHR election adviser.
The ODIHR will issue its final report on the observation of the entire electoral process around eight weeks after the end of the observation mission. The mission’s deployment follows an invitation from the Turkish authorities.
During the mission the team will meet state authorities, candidate representatives, and representatives of political parties, civil society, media, lawyers, judges and the international community, Glover said.
On election day, observers will monitor the opening of polling stations, the voting process, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results.
“Our role is to observe the election process and report, not to interfere,” Glover said, adding that the body is not made up of “election police, supervisors or politicians.”
The ambassador said they are not interested in the outcome of the elections, but rather in ensuring that the process is transparent and conducted in line with OSCE commitments such as equality, fairness, impartially and secrecy.
“We are absolutely neutral in our approach. Our role is to provide technical assessment of the process. Then it is the role of the society, political parties and the government to decide how to use these recommendations. We are totally impartial and we will let the facts speak for themselves,” she said.
The team will pay particular attention to voter of registration process, the candidate registration process, the media environment, campaign financing, resolution of complaints and appeals, and the work of the election administration and relevant state agencies, Glover added. The participation of women and minorities in the electoral process, along with the implementation of recommendations made by previous observation missions, will also be scrutinized. Source
European Parliament will not observe presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey
The co-chairs of the EP’s Democracy support and election coordination group MEPs McAllister and McAvan made the following statement on the forthcoming election in Turkey.
”Snap presidential and parliamentary elections will take place in Turkey on 24 June 2018.
The European Parliament will not observe this electoral process, and consequently will neither comment on the process nor on the results that will be announced afterwards. No individual Member of the European Parliament has been mandated to observe or comment on this electoral process on its behalf.
Therefore, should any Member of the European Parliament decide to observe these elections, she/he would do so on her/his own initiative and should under no circumstances through any statement or action, associate her/his participation with the European Parliament.” Source