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CHP’s Manifesto regarding repeat of Istanbul elections

Main opposition Republican People’s Party CHP Party Council has gathered in extraordinary session today in the morning following Supreme Election Council’s decision to cancel results of municipal elections held on March 31, and declaring repeat of elections on June 23. CHP has issued a declaration following the meeting, titled Democracy & Liberty Manifesto stating that “in our history there is no example of such an action that rule of law, justice and clean politics as well as economic sustainability has been sacrificed for one person’s personal fears & will.”

Supreme Election Council has ruled for cancellation of municipal elections in Istanbul only for the metropolitan seat declaring repeat of elections on June 23. Following SEC’s decision CHP has gathered in extraordinary session and released a manifesto drawing attention to the fact that while three layers of municipal seats had been placed in the same envelopes during the elections only one has been considered suspicious and called for repeat of district municipal elections as well as municipal council elections, if metropolitan elections are being repeated. CHP also called for members of SEC to resign as a whole.

CHP’s Manifesto:
“May 6, 2019 is marked as a dark day in our history of democracy. This date shall never be forgotten. There is no other example of such an action that rule of law, justice and clean politics as well as economic sustainability has been sacrificed for one person’s personal fears & will.
The enemies of democracy that overstep the people’s open & clear directive have taken another step in a civil-coup process and knowingly & deliberately committed a murder of rule of law.

The instigators of May 6 coup, the executor without trial, applauder is clearly visible. Their names will always be condemned as of today. What is painful in terms of democracy is, the judges who assume duties for election safety are also becoming accomplices in this dirty coup.
The Parliamentary oversight, independent judiciary, unbiased media, participation of civil society which are all indispensable for democracies, have unfortunately become a thing of the past. The final stronghold and honour of democratic legitimacy, ballot-box has been submitted to the desires of those who target the nation’s will. The basis of democracy, ‘rule of law’, ‘separation of powers’ and ‘suffrage’ have been shelved with this decision.

Those who have shifted the direction of our country from contemporary civilization to Middle East’s failed dictatorships will surely find their fair end on the history scene and hearts of the people. As members of Republican People’s Party which is the founder of Republic of Turkey and bringer of multi-party democratic system, we reject this re-direction that is forced upon our country.

Once again we reclaim our country’s 180 years of modernization, 73 years of democratic path and our founder and president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s path of ‘catching up with the contemporary civilization and surpassing it’.

The executive presidential system which allows a partisan president who chairs his party and the state has shortly proven to destroy borders between governing party and the state. Political investigators, police, prosecutors have all been pushed forward to work for the government’s will to repeat elections. Public officers have been given directives and subjected to pressure as part of political goals. This system that blurs the boundaries between the governing party and state, has proven to be the greatest threat against our democracy.

ISTANBUL ELECTIONS MUST BE REPEATED AS A WHOLE
The economic troubles in our country which have become too heavy to carry on, as unrest keeps growing, while internally and externally security risks are becoming more apparent, a crisis of legitimacy has been added on top of everything by those in government.

In order to overcome the legitimacy crisis and to defend the honor of ballot-box, Republican People’s Party members of the Party Council and members of parliament see the following steps necessary to be taken:

1- If there is any shady irregularities concerning the ballot-box committees to cause cancellation of March 31 municipal elections, the April 16, 2017 referendum on executive presidential system and June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections must also be repeated in the same manner as well as district municipality and municipal council elections for Istanbul.

2- If there are problems regarding ballot-box committee members, the only responsible body is Supreme Election Council. The SEC’s failure cannot be put on the voters as a burden; voters cannot be punished. SEC memebrs must resign as a whole, due to crimes they have committed against the voters.

3- There must be made regulations to ensure independence & neutrality of Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice in election periods. We as the members of Republican People’s Party CHP, once again declare that we are on the side of democracy, rule of law, full guarantee of suffrage, before the nation and history.

Taking our strength from the nation, we guarantee that we will continue our democratic struggle with an ever-increasing determination and strong resolution.

We are thrusting out our hands for those who believe in democracy, carry the sentiments for rights, law and justice, regardless of their party-backgrounds, on this day of fork in the road for Turkey. This hand thrusted out, we deeply believe will be strongly received on June 23 and add to our strength for our democratic struggle, and bring a greater victory than March 31.”