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Turkey: Opposition’s Referendum Appeal Rejected - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ankara- Turkey’s Supreme Election Board rejected on Wednesday all opposition objections to the results of last Sunday’s constitutional referendum, which was passed by 51.4 percent of Turkish voters to officially transfer the country into a presidential regime.

The board said it objected appeals presented by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) as well as the “Patriotic Party,” as ten members decided against annulling the vote, while only one voted in favor, the board said in a statement.

In a direct response to the board’s decision, the CHP said on Wednesday the party would employ all means to appeal the results of the referendum.

The party also threatened to take the decision to the Constitutional Court or to the European Court of Human Rights.

CHP deputy chairman Bulent Tezcan told reporters in comments broadcast live on television: “This is a serious legitimacy crisis. We will employ all legal ways available.”

He said the Supreme Election Board decided not to deem ballot papers without official seals invalid, paving the way for electoral fraud.

“This is not only a problem about the No votes but an injustice against all citizens who cast their votes. Because, the Yes votes also became controversial through this decision,” he said.

Sunday’s referendum resulted in a 51.41 percent victory for the “yes” campaign of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the adoption of an 18-article bill that includes provisions for an executive presidency.

For his part, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the opposition should now prepare for the next elections in 2019 instead of staging demonstrations and protests, “which would change nothing in the results” of the referendum.

“Calling people to the streets by using various communication channels and refusing to recognize the results is never acceptable,” Yildirim said.