International observers do not question the presidential elections in Turkey, held on Sunday, but reproach over the use of public funds for election campaign, Lithuanian lawmaker Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė, who observed the election, told BNS on Monday.
Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"The presidential candidates had equal conditions in terms of their political campaigns, but they nevertheless did not have equal opportunities in that political game field. (…) There was some misuse of public funds, as there was no clear separation between what were the prime minister's activities and their funding and what were the activities of a candidate. Such a rather strong conclusion remained," the Lithuanian MP told BNS by phone from Turkey.

"The main candidate, who started off [the campaign] as the prime minister, had a clear advantage. It was obvious as his political campaign dominated the streets and the media. Therefore, opposition observers said many times that "look how biased the press is and how much attention it gives to the main candidate and how little is left for other candidates." We can say the same about the finances," said Aleknaitė-Abramikienė, vice-president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly who led the observation mission.

On the other hand, the Lithuanian politician noted that, despite the above-mentioned imbalance, the opposition in Turkey is very strong.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has so far served as Turkey's prime minister, was elected the country's president on Sunday after receiving 52 percent in a vote that made him the country's first directly elected president.

His opposition rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu received 38.3 percent of the vote, while Selahattin Demirtas, the candidate of pro-Kurdish forces, was backed by 9.7 percent.

There were no major violations on the election day, the Lithuanian MP said. Polling stations worked smoothly, observers have no doubts about how the ballots were counted either. "Nobody among international observers question the results," Aleknaitė-Abramikienė said.

BNS
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