ANKARA, 17 March 2017 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today formally opened a limited referendum observation mission (LROM) for the 16 April constitutional referendum in Turkey. The mission’s deployment follows an invitation from the Turkish authorities.
The mission is led by Tana de Zulueta and consists of a core team of 11 experts based in Ankara and 24 long-term observers to be deployed across the country.
The mission will observe this referendum for its compliance with OSCE commitments, other international obligations and standards for democratic elections and referenda, as well as with national legislation. Observers will follow campaign activities, the work of the referendum/election administration and relevant state bodies, implementation of the legislative framework, and the resolution of referendum-related disputes. As part of its observation, the LROM will conduct comprehensive monitoring of the media.
In the course of its observation, the mission will meet with representatives from state authorities and political parties, and with representatives from civil society, the media and the international community. While the mission will visit a limited number of polling stations on the day of the referendum, systematic observation of voting, counting or tabulation of results on referendum day is not envisaged.
The day after the referendum, the mission will join with an observer delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference. ODIHR will issue its final report on the observation of the entire referendum process approximately eight weeks after the end of the observation mission.