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Turkey Referendum: Vote Expanding Erdogan Powers 'Valid'

Europe | April 17, 2017, Monday @ 10:42| 91 views

Photo: Twitter

The result of the referendum that grants sweeping new powers to the president of Turkey is valid, the head of the electoral body says, the BBC reported.

Sadi Guven was speaking after the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) cited irregularities, including the use of unstamped ballot papers.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's push for an executive presidency succeeded with just over 51% of the vote.

The win was met with both celebrations and protests across Turkey.

The CHP has demanded a recount of 60% of the votes.

But Mr Guven told reporters on Monday the unstamped ballot papers had been produced by the High Electoral Board and were valid.

He said a similar procedure had been used in past elections.

Three of Turkey's biggest cities - Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir - all voted No to the constitutional changes.

Opposition supporters took to the streets of Istanbul to bang pots and pans - a traditional form of protest - in a series of noisy demonstrations.

Meanwhile, flag-waving supporters of Mr Erdogan celebrated as their president praised them for their "historic decision" that could keep him in office until 2029.

With 99.97% of ballots counted, the Yes campaign had won 51.41% of the votes cast, while No had taken 48.59%. Turnout was said to be as high as 85%.

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said there would be no early elections following the result.

The parliamentary vote would be held as scheduled in 2019, Mr Simsek told Reuters news agency.

Responding to Sunday's result, the European Commission issued a statement saying it was awaiting the assessment of international observers. It urged Mr Erdogan to respect the closeness of the vote and to "seek the broadest possible national consensus" when considering the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments.

Tags: referendum, powers, President, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, unstamped, vote, opposition


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