Turkey's Supreme Election Board to assess referendum appeals until noon
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 23, 2017,
Apr 23, 2017, 7:14
Worldwide observers have noted irregularities in voting, with the European Union on Tuesday calling for an investigation after the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the referendum was conducted on an "unlevel playing field".
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy leader Bulent Tezcan formally requested that the Supreme Election Board (YSK) cancel the result.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a narrow victory in a referendum created to grant him massive powers and cement his autocratic rule over the country.
"These people are mainly those who attended the protests after the referendum and raised their voice against the referendum result on social media", said Deniz Demirdogen, a lawyer for one of the detainees, Mesut Gecgel.
"In view of the report. the close referendum result and the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments, we call on the Turkish authorities to consider the next steps very carefully and to seek the broadest possible national consensus in the follow-up to the referendum", the European Commission added.
The High Electoral Board said it assessed appeals from the CHP and two other parties at a seven-hour meeting on Wednesday.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that if Ankara were to bring back the death penalty, the move would be "synonymous with the end of (its) European dream".
Sancar went on to state that the electoral board's last-minute decision to allow unstamped ballots had prevented proper record-keeping to occur, meaning it was now impossible to determine how many invalid or make votes may have been counted.
Turkey's prime minister says opposition parties have the right to file objections to the outcome of a recent referendum on expanding presidential powers, but warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.
According to unofficial results, the "Yes" campaign won with 51.41 percent, while the "No" votes stood at 48.59 percent. Under the changes, most of which will only come into effect after the next elections due in 2019, the president will appoint the cabinet and an undefined number of vice-presidents, and be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval.
It is not yet clear whether Trump only meant to congratulate Erdogan on his dramatic win. There were widespread expectations he would take over the leadership nearly immediately after the vote. Erdogan will now rule the country till 2029 with near total control and hardly any check to his power - despite the fact the Turkey's opposition leaders are crying foul over the irregularities in the voting system.