“The decision of the Turkish Supreme Electoral Council to annul the results of the Istanbul municipal elections - won by the opposition - and to impose the re-run of the election can only raise concern among all democrats. This decision, which delegitimises the popular vote, is in contradiction with the democratic principle of full respect for the will of the citizens”, said Piero Fassino, President of the Socialist Group of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
“The fact that this decision was taken by a majority of the Supreme Electoral Council undermines the principle of impartiality that is essential in such delicate decisions and does not dispel suspicions of bias on the part of this body,” Piero Fassino underlined. “Given President Erdogan and his party’s ability to interpret laws and regulations as they see fit, it is legitimate to question the impartiality of this decision.”
"It is therefore essential”, concluded Fassino, “that this new election be held under conditions of absolute regularity and freedom, in accordance with the standards defined by the Council of Europe and in the presence of international observers, in particular that of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, which had already sent observers on 31 March.”