The S&D Group in the European Parliament is astonished to learn that some of the mayors who have won the local elections two weeks ago, are arbitrarily deprived of their mandates according to a press release issue today.
This applies to elected mayors who had been expelled from their public jobs by decrees issued by the government in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt, and replaced with trustees.
Even more surprisingly the Supreme Election Board (YSK) also said the candidates who got the highest number of votes after the ‘expelled mayors’ should be given the mandate. This goes against all possible democratic standards and is a blatant disregard of the elections results, S&Ds say.
“It seems that results of elections are only recognized when a suitable candidate wins. Not only has the result of the opposition CHP candidate winning the Istanbul mayor position put into question by the ruling AK Party, now elected HDP mayors in the South-eastern part of Turkey are deprived of their mandates and replaced with mayors from another party, who came second. How is it possible that the High Electoral Council YSK has approved candidates to run in the first place, and then when elected, they are being replaced by another party’s candidate?” said Kati Piri, S&D MEP and EP Turkey Rapporteur.
“This is very far from what we understand as democracy and respecting the results of elections. The S&D Group demands mandates are given to all the elected mayors. Last month the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the formal suspension of accession negotiations with Turkey due to the backsliding in the rule-of-law in the country. We were happy to see that the first results after the local elections showed that Turkish democracy is still very much alive and vibrant, as multiple parties had won municipalities all over the country. However, if Turkish authorities start to arbitrarily deprive mayors of their mandates, or not recognizing the election results of the opposition parties, then this will also have consequences for the future relations between the EU and Turkey,” Kati Piri added.