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Turkey's election board rejects appeals to annul referendum

21 April 2017, 01:47 | Taylor George

The Istanbul Bar Association on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against electoral board head Sadi Guven for "wrongful conduct" and "altering the result of the election".

Demonstrations against the outcome of a referendum expanding the president's powers are continuing in Istanbul, where protesters are demanding the resignation of the election board that has refused to void the vote.

Turkey voted on Sunday to switch to a presidential system, greatly increasing Erdogan's powers. The YSK stated on April 19 that it inspected appeals from the two parties in parliament, as well as the Vatan Party, and rejected them all, with only one affirmative vote from its 11 members.

The YSK released a written statement following the meeting, saying that the board agreed to reject the petitions submitted by the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the Patriotic Party to annul the April 16 constitutional reform referendum.

He said the electoral board's last-minute decision to allow unstamped ballots had prevented proper record-keeping, meaning that it was now impossible to determine how many invalid or fake votes may have been counted.

Earlier, Yildirim said that "the path to seek rights" should be limited to the courts.

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"The main opposition party not recognising the results is not an acceptable thing", Mr Yildirim said. Unofficial results, which the opposition said it would challenge, showed a narrow victory for him with 51.4 percent of votes cast in favour.

Worldwide election monitors, including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, have expressed concern over the way the vote was carried out.

"We look to the government of Turkey to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all its citizens", the statement said. "From the German government's point of view, Turkey must. clear up the questions that have been raised".

"What matters for us is not so much the first reaction from whomever in Turkey, directed more at domestic politics, but whether the responsible Turkish authorities really deal seriously with the criticism voiced publicly by the OSCE election observer mission, which was meant seriously and researched seriously".

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said a critical report by European observers on the referendum contained several mistakes, which he believed were deliberate.



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