More Than 350 Observers to Monitor Turkish Elections

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An international security body says it is deploying 22 long-term and 350 short-term observers to monitor Turkey’s June 24 snap presidential and parliamentary elections.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said Thursday that the higher number of observers is a response to recent changes to electoral procedures.

Newly-approved electoral laws will among other things, allow the government to relocate ballot boxes on security grounds and allow the counting of unstamped ballot papers as valid, which the opposition fears can lead to fraud.

The elections will usher in a new executive presidential system giving the president far-reaching powers. The new system was approved in a narrowly-won referendum last year, which the opposition says was marred by irregularities and observers branded as “unfair.”

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