Monday, 24 July, 2017

Turkey PM: Opposition Must Respect Referendum Results

Turkey’s main opposition party urged the country’s electoral board Monday to cancel the results of a landmark referendum that granted sweeping new powers to the Turkish opposition urges board to cancel referendum result
Howard Terry | 21 April, 2017, 00:41

The deputy chairman of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said on Tuesday that his party had done the same, and would use all legal paths to challenge the vote.

Voters Sunday narrowly approved constitutional amendments that will replace Turkey's parliamentary system with a presidential one.

Donald Trump has called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his narrow victory in a much-disputed referendum granting sweeping new powers. The main opposition party has demanded the result be nullified, saying the voting was marred by irregularities.

The Anadolu news agency reported Wednesday that the High Electoral Board voted 10-1 against the decision.

Worldwide election monitors, including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, have expressed concern over the way the vote was carried out. Sigmar Gabriel also called on the government in Ankara not to distance itself from Europe.

With more than 99 percent of the ballots counted, 51.34 percent of people said "yes" to increase Erdogan's powers compared with 48.667 percent that cast "no" votes.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, the commission's spokesman added: "As far as the future is concerned, as President Juncker has said in the past, we encourage Turkey to move closer to the European Union again and not to move even further and faster away from us".

Erdogan has rejected reports about voting irregularities from European observers, saying Turkey does not "see, hear, or acknowledge the politically motivated reports" of the global monitors.

The White House said Trump and Erdogan during their phone call also discussed the war in Syria, which has complicated ties between the two countries, according to The Associated Press.

Thousands took to the streets of Istanbul on Monday evening to protest the results, with some holding banners which read "No has won", referring to the referendum's "no" votes.

"There will be no call to Erdogan from the Commission, certainly not a congratulatory call", the official said.

The mission of observers from the 47-member Council of Europe, the continent's leading human rights body, said the referendum was an uneven contest.

Erdogan and his supporters argue the changes brought by the referendum are necessary to ensure security as it continues to battle the Kurdish fighters.

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