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Election board says 'not enough evidence' for CHP's demand on annulment for referendum

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) has rejected the main opposition Republican People Party (CHP)'s petition to annul the referendum results on Wednesday and ended speculation over the validity of the April 16 referendum results. Meanwhile, sources indicated that the CHP administration failed to submit sufficient evidence and documents to the board in order to prove any illegal action during the referendum.

According to the Ankara sources, when YSK could not see any evidence making the referendum dubious, the board rejected the CHP's petition to annul the results at the end of the four-hour meeting. Chairman of YSK, Sadi Güven, responding the press's questions yesterday, indicated that decisions of the court on the reason for their rejection of the petition would likely be announced within a few days.

In the meantime, the CHP indicated that the party's administration will go to the state council. "We are suing the Council of State for the annulment of the decision on counting unstamped ballots as valid given by YSK," CHP Deputy Bülent Tezcan said yesterday. Commenting on the CHP's decision to go to the Council of State to annul the referendum result, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said "We asked the Turkish nation [to change the constitution], they have decided [to change it]. Changing the nation's demand in the court is not a way for democracy. However, everyone has the right to object to the YSK's decision. Even so, the Turkish nation had the final say; 51.4 percent of Turkish nation has given ‘Yes' vote. It means that they [the CHP] neither consent to the nation's will nor believe in democracy. It also means to seek a solution [to hinder national demand] in different ways. These are ineffective efforts."

According to unofficial results, the ‘Yes' campaign won with more than 51.4 percent, while the ‘No' votes stood at among 48.6 percent. Voter turnout was 85.46 percent. However, the CHP challenged the results. CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu slammed the YSK's decision to count unstamped ballots in the referendum on Tuesday. Kılıçdaroğlu said that he respected the nation's will but the decision on unstamped ballots had overshadowed the results. Even though the CHP urged the YSK to annul the results of the referendum, official reports signed by the CHP officials indicate that they unanimously accepted unstamped ballots as valid on the April 16 referendum. Previous rulings by the YSK also show that unstamped ballots have previously been accepted as valid after inquiries confirmed the authenticity of the ballots. The board had previously accepted unstamped ballots as valid, upon necessary inquiry and investigation confirming the authenticity of ballots. Opposition parties, including the CHP had even appealed to the board in previous elections to count unstamped ballots as valid. Meanwhile, former CHP Chairman and current Antalya deputy Deniz Baykal threatened to halt the functioning of Parliament. Speaking at the CHP's Istanbul headquarters, Baykal said that the first half of the match came to an end with the referendum.

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