These 7 questions need to be answered

I thought about seven critical questions until morning, instead of making swift comments right after the Supreme Electoral Council decision. Yesterday, when I appeared on television, I asked these questions to their respective addressees. The questions below need immediate answers in order for this decision can become morally acceptable by the public conscience.

  1. “What caused the Supreme Electoral Council to cancel Istanbul election?” since the SEC had made an entirely different decision about the alleged accusations in 2014 elections. That is to say, the election back then wasn’t cancelled after the infraction of rules has been revealed following the final release of electoral lists; except certain persons were subject to fines. If any other incident has occurred, this should be made public. This is not something that we can slur over.
  2. “Who are the culprits then?” If “people’s vote” is considered “people’s honour”, those who had desire to defile our honour, those who behaved unjustly towards voters, those who infringed the law should be revealed as immediate as possible. We need to know whether these people have been arrested or convicted. If yes, are they being accused of what crimes?
  3. “Have people who were involved in this electoral manipulation officiated at the previous elections?” If yes, this means that doubt was cast on the previous elections. Whatever happened should be disclosed to the public. The Administration should not be afraid to say, “Yes, they officiated elections before but this time they got caught.” The culprits must be brought to the book to avoid anything like this from happening again.
  4. “What punishment will those who are involved in electoral fraud get?” This is a critical question. Yes, the punishment is indicated in the law but that is not something we can overlook. If there’s been any type of infringement, fraud or manipulation, the pubic must know how the culprits will be punished, and no one will get away with crimes such as these.

“What will guarantee the integrity of next elections?”

  1. “What actions will be taken about those who failed to ensure electoral security?” This question needs an immediate and definite answer. If officers who were entrusted with the task of ensuring electoral security have failed, then they have to answer for their failure or negligence, which means they must resign. If they refuse to give their resignation, then the government must take an immediate action to make them do so or remove them from office so as to avoid such undesired events in the future.
  2. “How will we ensure the electoral security and integrity in the nest elections?” It’s not possible to provide a full and satisfying answer to the second and the third question I asked above. If it is revealed that the electoral integrity was compromised because of the returning officers’ negligence, then people will need to be provided with strong assurance for the security of next elections.
  3. Here’s the final and the most crucial question: “Given that the responsible parties were unable to protect people’s votes, in other words people’s honour, who will apologise for this major failure, who will have the courage to resign? Which ones, of those who must act in accordance with people’s preferences and wishes, who are responsible for the protection of people’s lives, property and honour, will accept responsibility for their actions and do the right thing before this unfortunate and rarely precedented event that deeply damaged the public conscience?

If the question I cited above are addresses in such a manner as to ease public conscience, every single member of this society as well as the markets will breathe a sigh of relief. Otherwise, this recently emerged chaos and the lack of public confidence will cause further harm to the global perception of Turkey.

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