Thursday, May 30, 2024
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    Turkey to head to polls for presidential, parliamentary elections

    More than 64.1 million voters to cast votes to elect president, MPs for 5 years

    Voting for presidential and parliamentary elections in Türkiye will begin at 8 a.m. local time (0500GMT) Sunday and last until 5 p.m. (1400GMT).

    A total of 191,885 ballot boxes will be set up in 973 districts and 1,094 district election boards across the country to elect the president and members of parliament, who will serve for five years.

    More than 64.1 million voters will cast votes in Türkiye and abroad. Around 4.9 million will vote for the first time in the country. The number of voters imprisoned is 53,172.

    Voters will be able to cast their ballots with one of the official documents having their identity number.

    It will not be mandatory to bring a sheet showing where to vote. Those who did not receive the voter information sheet will be able to learn where and in which ballot box they will vote on the website of the Supreme Election Board (YSK). If the election goes to a second round, the sheet will not be required again.


    It will be forbidden to enter the voting station with video recorders or communication devices such as mobile phones or cameras. Those devices will be left at the ballot box committee and will be returned after the voting process is finished.

    Voters will put two separate ballot papers for the president and deputies in the same envelope and put them in the ballot box.

    First, the counting and listing of the ballot papers for the presidential election will be carried out.




    Election in quake-hit region

    YSK took various measures across 11 Turkish provinces that were hit by the Feb. 6 earthquakes, and established containers for voting in those provinces.

    Ballot boxes will be established in the same schools where ballot boxes were previously set. Even if schools were destroyed or damaged, voting will be ensured by placing containers in front of the school buildings.

    Voters affected by the earthquakes will vote wherever they register their addresses, and the votes will be counted for that constituency. Approximately 133,000 voters from the quake zone had their registrations transferred to other provinces.

    Mobile ballot boxes were also created for voters who are bedridden due to their illness or disability. Those voters will be able to cast votes in mobile ballot boxes.

    For the first time, a template will be sent to each ballot box for the visually impaired who will vote with a template prepared for them.




    Voting continues at customs

    For more than 3.4 million voters registered in the foreign electoral roll, ballot box committees were formed in 73 countries and 156 foreign representations. The voting process in overseas representations ended May 9. Voting procedures at customs gates for those who could not vote within the specified time in their country of residence will continue until 5 a.m. Sunday.

    The ballot papers used abroad were brought to Türkiye by planes and diplomatic couriers. The votes stored in the Overseas District Election Board in Ankara will be opened and counted simultaneously with other votes, following the completion Sunday of the voting process across the country.

    Over 1.76 million Turks living abroad cast their votes to elect the country’s new president and parliamentary representatives.




    Presidential candidates

    Voters will choose between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking reelection, main opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and Sinan Ogan. Muharrem Ince, another presidential contender, withdrew from the race on Thursday.

    A total of 24 political parties and 151 independent parliamentary candidates will compete.

    Some political parties are entering the elections with five different alliances under the name of “Republic”, “Nation”, “Ancestral”, “Labor and Freedom,” and “the Union of Socialist Forces” alliances.

    The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the Nationalist Movement Party MHP, the Great Unity Party (BBP), and the New Welfare Party are participating under the “People’s Alliance.”

    The “Nation Alliance” was formed by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good Party (IYI Party), Felicity Party, Future Party, Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), and Democrat Party.

    The Party of Greens and the Left Future (Green Left Party) and the Turkish Workers’ Party (TIP) are running under the “Labor and Freedom Alliance.” The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is still in the process of the lawsuit filed in the Constitutional Court, is also participating in the Green Left Party lists.

    The Victory Party and the Justice Party are running under the “Ancestral Alliance (Ata),” while the Communist Party of Türkiye, the Communist Movement of Türkiye and the Left Party are running under the “Union of Socialist Forces.”




    Election Day bans

    Alcoholic beverages will not be sold from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time on Sunday, and it will be prohibited to provide them in public places. Entertainment venues will remain closed during voting and only meals will be allowed in restaurants that are entertainment venues.

    Weddings will be held after 6 p.m., provided that election bans and the specified rules are followed.

    No one will be able to carry weapons other than those who are in charge of maintaining security and order. Radios and broadcasting organs will not be able to report news, make predictions and comment on election results until 6 p.m. on Election Day. Only news and communique to be given by the YSK about the election can be broadcast between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on radios and broadcasting organs.

    All broadcasts will be released after 9 p.m. on Election Day, however, if deemed necessary by the YSK, it may be decided to release broadcasts at 9 p.m.

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