PACE ‘double standard’ for postponed polls: Deputy PM

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The Council of Europe urging Turkey to postpone its early elections over its state of emergency shows a double standard, as no one made an issue of the same situation in France, Turkey’s deputy premier said on Tuesday.

"When France held [2017] elections during the state of emergency, PACE didn’t mind election security and didn’t urge France to postpone the elections, but when it comes to Turkey, it brings up the EU criteria, state of emergency and election security, which is meaningful and shows a double standard," Bekir Bozdag said on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

Bozdag's remarks came after PACE’s monitoring committee on Tuesday called on Turkey to postpone the June 24 early elections, claiming Turkey is not complying with the EU criteria.

Bozdag called the move "unacceptable” and "interference in Turkey's internal affairs and elections."

The Turkish parliament on Friday passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24.

Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016, following the defeated coup by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Separately, EU Minister Omer Celik also slammed the PACE move, calling it an intrusion in the sovereign decision of Turkish citizens.

Calling it “a completely political decision," Celik said on Twitter: “Turkey knows how to decide when the elections should be. Nobody has the right to intervene except Turkish citizens and the institutions that represent them.”

Also commenting on the issue during his visit to Spain together with the Turkish premier, Celik said:

“It is a disrespectful act by itself to call on a European democracy and a state like Turkey, which has strong institutions, to postpone elections.”

He added: “We are going to hold a very strong, transparent election. We will cooperate with international institutions and conduct a poll with a very high voter turnout and everyone will respect the result.”

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