Turkish opposition leader blasts election board

CHP leader says both sides uncomfortable with election board's decision to accept unsealed ballot papers

Turkish opposition leader blasts election board

World Bulletin / News Desk

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Tuesday criticized the electoral authority’s decision to count unsealed ballot papers in the April 16 referendum as valid.

Votes were not stolen, but “Turkey’s Supreme Board of Elections [YSK] was stolen,” Kemal Kilicdaroglu told a meeting of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) council. 

“We told our citizens this: ‘Go and vote; we will protect the ballot boxes’,” he said.

“Our citizens went and voted, we protected the ballot boxes,” he said, adding, “That which was stolen weren’t votes, but the YSK.”

Kilicdaroglu said both sides who voted in the referendum were uncomfortable with the YSK decision.

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. 

Voters went to the polls on April 16 to decide whether to approve changes to the country’s constitution, shifting it from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

Unofficial results show the Yes campaign won with 51.41 percent, while the No vote stood at 48.59 percent. Voter turnout was 85.46 percent.

The official results are due to be released by the election board at the beginning of May.

On Tuesday, Kilicdaroglu called it “unacceptable” if more than 50 percent of the people “vote No in a constitutional referendum and this is turned into a Yes by a YSK decision.”

He said Turkey needs a fundamental constitutional change people can reach a consensus on. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Nisan 2017, 16:50