CHP backs AKP vice chairman on debate on moving polling stations

Fecha de publicación: 
02 Oct 2015

Justice and Development Party (AKP) Vice Chairman Mehmet Ali Şahin’s suggestion that Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) does not have the authority to move polling stations is correct, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Secretary-General Gürsel Tekin has said.

“I congratulate Mehmet Ali Şahin on his status as a legal expert. There is, for the first time, a correct voice from the AKP,” Tekin told the Hürriyet Daily News on Oct. 2. 

“I agree with what [Şahin] has said. The constitution is clear. The YSK cannot take such a decision,” he added. 

Şahin said Oct. 1 that the YSK did not have the authority to decide whether or not ballot boxes could be moved to another place. 

“Does the YSK have the right [to decide not to set up ballot boxes]? In my opinion, they do not, because I believe the YSK cannot take such a decision without a legal regulation being made,” Şahin said during a televised show on state-owned channel TRT Haber. 

Şahin said the YSK was responsible for securing the elections – something that would require appropriate regulations.

The YSK will make a final decision on earlier decisions taken by a number of local election councils in eastern and southeastern Anatolia to not conduct voting in certain neighborhoods due to security concerns, amid deadly violence between security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The YSK is expected to make a decision this week. 

“I am waiting for how the YSK will make a decision with curiosity,” Şahin said.

Meanwhile, new rulings from local election authorities continue to be made about the moving of ballot boxes ahead of the Nov. 1 snap election. 

The latest was made by the district election board in the eastern province of Batman’s city center. The Oct. 1 decision stated that a total of 170 ballot boxes in 15 neighborhoods would not be set up due to security concerns. 

The 170 ballot boxes that would have been in 26 schools in Batman’s city center will instead be combined with ballot boxes in eight neighborhoods elsewhere in the province, according to the ruling.