A main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker has launched an online petition against a legislative package submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) after the CHP raised concerns over a provision about electoral security in the upcoming elections.
“[The legislative proposal] submitted to parliament by the AKP and the MHP includes provisions that raise serious concerns over electoral security,” CHP Istanbul MP Didem Engin said in a letter posted on change.org, an online petition website.
“We demand this proposal, which will cast a shadow over the elections, be withdrawn,” it added.
The 26-article legislative package stipulating amendments in laws regulating elections and political parties was submitted to parliament on Feb. 21. It passed the Parliamentary Commission on March 8.
The main opposition party says the package, which includes provisions on the relocation of ballot boxes over security reasons, changes to the definition of ballot box areas and allows armed personnel to enter polling stations—if they get called—will result in voting irregularities.
The CHP also believes a provision mentioned in the package about unsealed ballot papers would pave way for “illegitimate election results.”
“Elections should be held in a democratic environment in which the state of emergency is not ongoing. Elections should be regulated in a manner that voting and counting procedures can happen transparently and without doubts, voters can vote freely for whichever party and candidate they choose, and the election campaigns can be held justly,” the petition said.