Turkish interior minister: Volunteers shall not be allowed to monitor the elections

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Suleyman Soylu, who is oddly serving now both as Turkey’s interior minister and a newly elected deputy for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said on Saturday that a major election security network of volunteers “terrorize polling stations” and that the volunteers lack the legal capacity to serve as poll attendants or observers.

Soylu was elected deputy for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on 14 May and continues to serve as minister despite a constitutional provision which says that the parliamentary membership of those who are appointed minister are revoked.

Apparently interfering in the domain of the judiciary a week ahead of the presidential election runoff, Soylu said:

“Only representatives of political parties may take part as poll attendants or observers at polling stations. That association called Oy ve Otesi [Vote and Beyond] may not be allowed to have a presence there. They step in and terrorize polling stations, try to exercise pressure. This shouldn’t be allowed. I’m calling on the heads of local, district and provincial electoral boards: The attempts by these [volunteers] to be there and pressurize voters is a violation of the election law. They also pressurize the police and say they will accompany the delivery of votes.”

Accusing volunteers of being “elements of 2013 Gezi protests” and claiming that they are supported by Sweden, Soylu addressed the volunteers:

“You are Gezi elements. We know who you are. You are there [at polling stations] to mess up with the elections. This Oy ve Otesi Association is financially supported by the state of Sweden. Why? To mess up with the elections in Turkey. That’s very obvious.”

Oy ve Otesi is among the largest election security networks in Turkey and is capable of mobilizing tens of thousand of volunteers to take part in monitoring the processes of voting, counting of votes and data entry in the system of the Supreme Electoral Board.

Source: Gerçek News

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