Miércoles, 16 Agosto, 2017

Turkey's opposition CHP says will employ all legal ways to appeal referendum

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 nation Turkey's premier calls on opposition to respect referendum
Manuel Armenta | 21 Abril, 2017, 18:03

Yildirim said the "the path to seek rights" should be limited to legal objections and urged the opposition to accept the vote's outcome. But even before the referendum, a crackdown by Erdogan since a failed coup last July has alienated the bloc that prides itself on human rights and the rule of law.

Following Sunday's referendum, Germany's opposition The Left Party has demanded the suspension of Ankara's European Union talks arguing that the transition to a presidential system would move Turkey away from democracy.

The European Union's offer of a revamped, broader trade pact with Ankara could still act as leverage to slow Erdogan's ambitions, however, a second Western official said.

Global election monitors, including from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, noted a series of irregularities, and said the decision to accept as valid ballots without official stamps undermined safeguards against fraud and was contrary to Turkish law.

Germany is Turkey's most important trading partner, with a total volume of 37 billion euros ($39 billion), and one of its largest sources of foreign investment.

She confirmed that the authority made a decision to accept ballots without official stamps late in the day, adding that it "significantly changed the ballot validity criteria, undermining an important safeguard and contradicting the law".

Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the electoral board of bias and of favouring the governing party. 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.

YSK Chairman Sadi Guven said on Monday the last-minute decision to allow unstamped ballots was not unprecedented as the government had previously permitted such a move.

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

The margin of victory for the "Yes" vote was razor-thin.

Anadolu news agency cited a statement by Istanbul Police that said the suspects were detained early Wednesday for attempting to provoke a response similar to the mass anti-government demonstrations that happened across Turkey in 2013.

President Donald Trump this week called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on a referendum victory that will significantly and controversially increase his power, raising questions about Trump's support of authoritarian leaders and for a fair democratic process.

Turkey's prime minister has called on the opposition to respect the result of a referendum that will expand the powers of the office of the president.

The European Union also urged a probe into the poll fraud claims after global observers voiced concerns, but both US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin called Erdogan to offer congratulations.

There has been no official word from the White House on any planned meeting between Trump and Erdogan.

The opposition has listed a series of irregularities, but has been particularly outraged by an electoral board decision announced late Sunday to accept ballots that didn't bear the official stamps used to verify they are genuine, as required by Turkish law.