OSCE: the referendum in Turkey meets European standards

OSCE: the referendum in Turkey meets European standards

A referendum on expanding the powers of the President of Turkey was held in the unequal opportunities provided to supporters and opponents of the amendments said the OSCE.

While the technical aspects of the referendum was well organized, the voters did not receive impartial information on the main aspects of the reform had a negative effect restricting fundamental freedoms, the statement said experts of the organization.

According to the latest data, the transition from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government in Turkey was supported by 51% of voters and opposed by about 49%.

“Overall, the referendum did not meet the standards of the Council of Europe”, — reads the statement of Cesar Florin Preda, head of the delegation of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

According to representatives of the OSCE, a referendum was held in a political environment where infringed the fundamental freedoms necessary for the democratic process.

“Our monitoring showed that the campaign in support of “Yes” [for the extension of the powers of the President”] dominated the media, and this along with the noise the media, arrests of journalists and closure of publications has limited the access of voters to other points of view,” said the organization.

In particular, according to observers, the governors of the provinces used after the coup introduced a state of emergency to restrict freedom of Assembly and expression.

The referendum on extension of presidential powers was held in Turkey on 16 April. The vote, which is called a turning point in the country’s history, Turkey was transformed from a parliamentary into a presidential Republic.

Adopted at the referendum amendments to the Constitution give to the President of the country, Erdogan’s unprecedented powers and allow him to remain in office until 2029.

Erdogan may be entitled to declare a state of emergency, to appoint government Ministers, to issue decrees that will have the status of laws, choose the judges of top courts and to dissolve Parliament.

The new system will concentrate power in the hands of the President, in fact, subordinating to him the entire government bureaucracy in the country.

Erdogan’s supporters say it will help to modernize the country, but his opponents fear an increase in authoritarianism.

The opposition claims that the referendum was flawed and is going to challenge results of voting in the constitutional court and the ECHR.

On Monday, the results of the referendum were valid, as stated by the head of the Supreme electoral Council of the country Sadi Guven. Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said that all changes should come into force during the year.