World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's election board has decided Wednesday to file a criminal complaint against those who “go beyond criticism” following the April referendum on constitutional changes.
The Supreme Election Board (YSK) said in a statement that it had decided to file a complaint against those who, in their criticism, targeted the board’s chairman and its members.
The YSK members will take the complaint to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the statement added.
The YSK said that all high court decisions could be debated and criticized in legal terms but those who went "beyond criticism” would be prosecuted.
The statement listed a number of comments allegedly made by people who criticized the board’s decision to count unstamped ballot papers. Among them: "There was no theft at the ballot boxes, nobody’s vote was stolen but we look back and saw the Supreme Election Board was stolen", or "Those who decide against law are called gangs under our law,’”
Turkish voters went to the polls on April 16 to decide whether to approve changes to the country’s constitution, which would usher in an executive presidency.
The Turkey’s main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) led the criticism of the referendum result, particularly the YSK's decision to declare valid ballot papers that had not been stamped by local electoral boards.
Following an unsuccessful appeal to the YSK itself, the Council of State -- Turkey’s highest administrative court -- Tuesday rejected the CHP’s petition to annul the YSK’s decision on the referendum results.
Last week, the YSK released a decision explaining the reason for rejecting petitions submitted by three political parties to cancel Turkey's April 16 constitutional referendum.
The board in a statement had defended its decision to accept unstamped ballot papers before the boxes were closed for vote counting, saying it had been objective, and in line with the principle of equality and impartiality.