I t’s election season: France is embroiled in as tight a race as ever with people going to the polls on Sunday in an election that could change not only the nature of France but Europe as a whole. British Prime Minister Theresa May went back on her promise that there would be no general election until 2020, calling snap polls for June to strengthen her mandate for the upcoming Brexit negotiations. In the US state of Georgia, a Democrat won the first round in a race that many have painted as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s performance in office so far. Elections in Jakarta, Indonesia, are widely seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.
In Turkey, the choice on Sunday was simple on the surface: ‘Evet’ or ‘Hayir’, Yes or No. But the implications of the victory for the Yes camp, approving constitutional changes, and the way it came about are far from the only thing at stake. The opposition cried foul from early on, calling for the results to be annulled, but so far there is no sign a rerun will be granted despite concerns voiced by election observers.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to extend his grip on power, in the eyes of many deepening a trend towards authoritarianism in a country so often hailed as a bridge between East and West.
In any election or referendum, there are bound to be winners and losers, that’s the nature of democracy. However, what is not the nature of democracy is preventing one side from campaigning fairly and freely. That was the case in Turkey, as our Europe Editor Joseph Wallace explores in this week’s cover story. The impact of Mr. Erdogan’s victory is far-reaching.
The people decide, but they need to be able to do so on an equal playing field.
Editor-in-Chief, The World Weekly
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