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Turkish opposition files legal appeal against referendum result

Europe
21.04.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - Turkey‘s main opposition bloc filed Friday an appeal to the country‘s highest administrative court, asking for a stay of execution against the election commission announcing final results in the referendum on expanding presidential powers.

The centre-left People‘s Republican Party (CHP) and other opposition groups are concerned that the election commission allowed ballots lacking an official seal to be counted in the tight race. The law prohibits validating such ballots, as a measure against fraud.

CHP lawyer Atilla Kart charged that the judiciary in Turkey is under pressure, but he believed there was still reason to lodge an appeal against the election commission‘s decision, pushing for a recount of ballots.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier said that while the opposition could technically appeal, the matter was for the election commission alone and not the judiciary.

"It is not a way of democracy to amend the people‘s decision through a complaint to the courts," Yildirim said, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency, adding, "the people have spoken." He denounced the CHP‘s efforts as "useless" and a waste of time.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared victory on Sunday night as the state-run media showed the "yes" camp ahead by 51.4 per cent.

Atilla called on Erdogan not to interfere in a judicial process.

The opposition throughout the campaign had criticized the referendum as an attempt to concentrate power in one office and erode checks and balances, while regularly complaining the "no" camp was sidelined by the media and its rallies blocked.

The authorities have detained dozens of opposition protestors in the days since the referendum. The demonstrations have been peaceful.

 

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