Mogherini and Hahn express disappointment over Turkey’s pre-election period restrictions

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn expressed on Monday the European Unions disappointment for the restrictions and violations reported by OSCE on the pre- election campaing period in Turkey and called on Turkey to address key shortcomings regarding the rule of law and fundamental rights.

“Turkeys general and presidential elections on 24 June saw a very high voter turnout and a broad spectrum of candidates and parties competing in the elections”, the High Repesentative and the Enlargement Commissioner said, noting that “this reaffirmed the strong attachment of the Turkish people to democratic processes and the pursuit of their civil liberties as well as the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.”

Furthermore, Mogherini and Hahn recognized that “as the election observation mission by OSCE/ODIHR assesses, the voters had a genuine choice, but the conditions for campaigning were not equal.”

“In addition, the restrictive legal framework and powers granted under the ongoing state of emergency restricted the freedoms of assembly and expression, including in the media”, they stressed.

“We will work with the President and the Parliament to address together the many common challenges ahead of us”, said the High Representative and the Enlargement Commissioner in their common statement.

“The elections trigger the entry into force of the new presidential system which has far reaching implications for Turkish democracy – as raised by the Venice Commission – regarding checks and balances”, they noted, stressing that “in general, Turkey would benefit from urgently addressing key shortcomings regarding the rule of law and fundamental rights.”

Source: Cyprus News Agency