Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Criticism of Turkey's electoral board 'politically motivated', minister says

Criticism of Turkey's electoral board 'politically motivated', minister says

Mr. Erdogan, speaking from his official residence in Istanbul on Sunday, said the referendum had closed the door on Turkey's long history of military intervention in government.

On Monday, Erdogan renewed suggestions that Turkey could hold referendums on its bid to join the European Union and on reinstating the death penalty.

The head of the CHP, Bulent Tezcan, said the party had received complaints from a number of polling stations that people had been unable to vote privately.

Describing the accusations as "strange", he adds: "They are accused of provoking people to question the legitimacy of the "Yes" in the referendum".

Dieter Kempf, president of the BDI lobby group, says the result of the vote "is worrying" and suggests Turkey is moving further away from European values.

Tezcan said that "we demand the cancellation of this referendum".

As many as 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in Sunday's Turkish referendum that ended in a close "yes" vote for greater presidential powers, an Austrian member of the Council of Europe observer mission said on Tuesday.

"We are going to evaluate the objections before noon", Sadi Guven, the head of Turkey's highest electoral body, told reporters in Ankara. They found that the opposition campaign had been restricted and the media coverage was imbalanced, and that the electoral authority had unfairly changed the rules after polls had opened. Opponents accuse him of leading a drive toward one-man rule in Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member that borders Iran, Iraq and Syria and whose stability is of vital importance to the United States and the European Union.

European leaders reacted and did not agree on the referendum stated that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will extend his power.

He said that the death penalty is more than a red line.

Turkey's state-run news agency says the country's electoral board has rejected the oppositions' petitions to annul the referendum on expanding the powers of the presidency.

"The tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is and that means a big responsibility for the Turkish leadership and for President Erdogan personally", Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a joint statement, calling for a "respectful dialogue" in Ankara with the opposition and all parts of Turkish society.

However, thousands continued to protest Sunday's referendum, which has set into motion the transformation of Turkey's system of government from a parliamentary to a presidential one that would give more power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Worldwide election observers and opposition parties have reported numerous voting irregularities during the vote which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won by a narrow margin.

The country's pro-Kurdish party said it may take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if the electoral board does not reverse its decision and nullify the ballots lacking official stamps.

"For years, we have worked on getting ourselves integrated with the world", Serafettin Asut, head of the chamber of commerce and industry in the Mediterranean city of Mersin, home to one of Turkey's largest global ports. The OSCE report criticized the decision as "undermining an important safeguard and contradicting the law".

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