Turkey opposition wants referendum result annulled


ANKARA: The deputy leader of Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) today called for the results of a referendum on new powers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be annulled.

“There is only one decision to ease the situation in the context of the law — the Supreme Election Board (YSK) should annul the election,” the Dogan news agency quoted Bulent Tezcan as saying after the CHP alleged widespread violations in Sunday’s poll.

The opposition was particularly incensed by a decision by the YSK to allow voting papers without official stamps to be counted, which they said opened the way for fraud.

“This poll, which followed a principle of ‘open vote but secret count’ will find a place in the dark pages of our history,” Tezcan told reporters at CHP headquarters here.

Both the CHP and the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) have vowed to contest substantial chunks of the vote with the YSK.

They can do this within the period until the final official results are published by the YSK in the next 10 days.

The referendum has no “democratic legitimacy”, HDP spokesman and MP Osman Baydemir told reporters here.

The opposition has also complained that local news media published the results before the YSK, whose website has been inaccessible all day today.

“‘No’ votes were cast at the ballot box but ‘Yes’ came out on TV and agencies,” added Baydemir.

He said the HDP was challenging the results in “hundreds” of ballot boxes.

“We have made our challenges to (the YSK). We continue to make new challenges,” he said.