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Lack of transparency in Erdoğan campaign funding arouses concerns

Lack of transparency in Erdoğan campaign funding arouses concerns

PanARMENIAN.Net - Concerns that have prompted Europe’s security body to deploy a mission to observe Turkey’s upcoming first direct presidential election have apparently been proven right, as an interim report by the mission has highlighted a wide range of flaws, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

“The campaign activities of the prime minister are large-scale events, often combined with official government events. While other candidates actively campaign, the public visibility of their campaigns is limited,” said an interim report released July 31, with only days to go before the first round scheduled for Aug 10.

A Limited Election Observation Mission (LEOM) deployed by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) released its report at a time when the opposition parties and presidential hopeful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s two competitors are increasingly voicing their unease with lack of transparency with Erdoğan’s campaign funding.

“The campaign is dominated by a debate on the future of Turkey’s system of government, with Mr. Erdoğan calling for a strong presidential system and Mr. [Ekmeleddin] İhsanoğlu promising to preserve the current parliamentary system. The ongoing situations in the Gaza Strip, Syria and Iraq, the issue of corruption, and the continuation of the Kurdish-Turkish peace process all feature prominently in the campaign. Mr. [Selahattin] Demirtaş has underlined the need to stand with people who face discrimination due to ethnic, religious, gender, or class-based identity,” the mission said, referring to İhsanoğlu, jointly nominated by two major opposition parties, and Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) co-leader Demirtaş.

Overall, the report made clear that key recommendations made by OSCE earlier remain unaddressed, including those related to citizen and international observation.

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