Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Turkish body votes against annulling referendum

Turkish body votes against annulling referendum

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's prime minister on Tuesday called on the opposition to respect the result of a referendum that will give sweeping new powers to the office of the president.

The pro-Kurdish opposition HDP, which had appealed along with the CHP for the referendum to be annulled, said the late decision by the electoral board to allow unstamped ballots meant it was impossible to determine how many invalid or fake votes may have been counted.

The opposition is particularly incensed by a last-minute move by the YSK to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp.

In an address to legislators from his ruling party on Tuesday, Yildirim said the people had voted to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, adding: the "opposition should not speak after the people have spoken".

Unofficial results show a narrow win for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "Yes" campaign, which won 51.4% of the vote.

Erdogan on Sunday declared victory for the "yes" vote in the referendum, the biggest political overhaul in Turkey's modern history, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result.

Mehmet Hadimi Yakupoglu, the Republican People's Party's representative to the High Electoral Board, said the party had asked the board to annul Sunday's referendum "because we weren't able to ensure election safety".

A government spokesperson said: "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this".

Turkey rejected on Tuesday the European Union call for referendum probe.

"Trump called Erdogan tonight (Monday) and congratulated him on his success in the referendum", Turkish presidential sources said, quoted by the government run Anadolu news agency.

According to the spokesperson for the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, the call came after Turkey rejected global observers' criticism of the referendum on Sunday.

The minister recognised that the German politicians who called for cutting relations with Turkey were pushed by "internal" political calculations.

Representatives from a coalition of global bodies said the vote took place on an "unlevel playing field", with the "yes" campaign dominating media coverage.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan and Trump would meet in person next month, before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

Significantly, the spokesman confirmed that neither Mr Juncker nor the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, had spoken to Mr Erdogan since his victory.

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