Turkey’s opposition to appeal decision on unstamped referendum ballot papers

By bne IntelliNews April 21, 2017

Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said on April 21 it was filing an appeal with the Turkish Court of Appeal which would demand the reversal of the Supreme Electoral Board's (YSK's) decision to accept unstamped ballot papers in the tightly contested April 16 referendum on bringing in an executive presidential system.

According to the unofficial results, the Yes camp, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP party, won the 16 April poll with 51.4% of the vote, with the No camp receiving 48.59%.

The YSK earlier this week rejected appeals from the CHP and the pro-Kurdish HDP for the annulment of the referendum.

“The nation has made its decision and the referendum is over. It is not right to challenge the nation’s will in the courts,” PM Binali Yildirim responded on April 21 in commenting on the CHP’s latest legal move. “The YSK’s decision is final, there's no need to waste the country’s time with such a vain effort,” Yildirim added.

The government has rejected suggestions of irregularities in the popular vote, saying that the referendum was fair and transparent. But, for instance, one academic has even preliminarily identified an anti-AKP voting swathe of the populatoin was seemed to vanish in the vote breakdown.

President Erdogan has responded to concerns of irregularities raised by foreign poll observers by telling them to "Know your place." He added that it was not so important if Turkey broke off from EU accession talks.

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