20/11/2003

 

Interview with election observers from Oslo:

 

 

Ergüçlü:

 You have been here over a week... What is your purpose of your presence in North Cyprus?

 

Professor:

Purpose is to study the up coming elections on December 14. The process that leads up to the elections, rules, regulations, practice of the authorities, content of the form and content of the elections and what happens after? So we will stay here, I and my colleagues until about a week or few days after the elections.

 

Ergüçlü:

How many people are with you?

 

Professor:

We are group of only three people. Clearly there are limitations on how much we are able to do. Of course we will  do our best to get as complete and as correct picture as it possible of what and how your elections are democratic.

 

Ergüçlü:

Can you tell us about your member....Who are you?

 

Professor:

What unites the three of us is that we have a lot of experience in working with elections. We have been on assessment and observation missions in many different countries. We called ourselves as “election experts”.  My name is Aunund Hyllannd, I am a professor at the social sciences Faculty in the University  of Oslo. I have been working for 30 years on elections and electoral systems on various missions. My colleagues Elisabeth Rasmusson who is presently working in Norwegian Refugee Council and she has an extended experience on mission concerning elections in particularly working for OSCE (Organisation for Security and Coopreation in Europe). Third member, Gunnar M. Karlsen, is the deputy secretary of  Norwegian Helsinki Committee which is part of the European Helsinki Federation. These organiziations have also sponsored missions in connection with elections of many different country.

 

Ergüçlü:

All there of you are experts on studying elections. Can we describe you as observers?

 

Professor:

We are not in the technical sense observers.  For this we should have been many more... We would have to be many more people. We are just a study group. We are here on behalf of University of Oslo, the Faculty of Law.

 

Ergüçlü:

This project is carrying out by the University of Oslo ....

 

Professor:

That’s correct. I am professor at the University of Oslo. My colleagues do not work for the university permanently. But our mission here is organised and sponsored by the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law.

 

Ergüçlü:

How long will you stay here?

 

Professor:

Until the election and few days more. I cannot say the exact day but about 20th of December.

 

Ergüçlü:

What exactly are you going to do here until that tine and how are you going to do?

 

Professor:

We are basically, although we are not officially a mission of OSCE, we still use the criteria for assessing elections that are adopted by the OSCE. Our fist task would be the working on, ten days we have been here, is to learn as much as possible about your electoral system, your rules. We have been very well received by the Supreme Court of Judges that are the  High Electoral Council. We are very grateful to them for the assistance they have given us. Then we also asked for meeting with the leaders of the all the parties that will run in these elections. We have had many of these meetings, a couple are arranged for today and tomorrow. We want to listen the party leaders; hear what whether they think the election process is fair and democratic, listen to any objections concerns they may have and then to the extend the questions are raised we should want to go into that. That we do by as I said studying the rules and practices, talking to officials, asking to see records and so on. My to colleagues are visiting the Interior Ministry exactly for that purpose.

 

Ergüçlü:

What will happen at the end? Will you draw up a report and put together the findings?

 

Professor:

Yes. After the elections. After we go home, we should write a reports which would be public. Anybody can get access to that and it will be written in English. Its internationally acceptable. Any body here in Cyprus who reads in English will be able to see what we have found.

 

Ergüçlü:

Before that, during the election and during your stay here suppose you see something is wrong... Wil you be intervening or  will you be just reporting?

 

Professor:

We should be very careful not to intervene the elections. After all, it is the authority of Northern Cyprus who arranged the elections and who are responsible that everything is in order and goes according to law and democratic principles. So we should be extremely cautious that we do not to intervene that perhaps our record will contain some advise concerning the laws and producers for future elections. But we should be very cautious.

 

 

 Ana Sayfa