Opposition leader says referendum results announced not reliable

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CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that his party would object to the results of Sunday’s referendum on the grounds that the vote for the constitutional amendments was manipulated by the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) in terms of content and method, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

“Due to YSK interference, the referendum results have become questionable. Now, I am asking: Why would you make such a decision? Rules cannot be changed in the middle of the game. The YSK literally cast a shadow over the decision made by this nation. We will be checking this closely,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Hours before the unofficial results were announced late on Sunday night the YSK declared that the board would deem voting papers without official seals to be valid. The board also declared on its website that unless there was proof that ballot papers and envelopes were brought from outside the polling place, they would be accepted as valid.

The announcement reportedly came after a board meeting following a high number of complaints regarding unsealed ballot papers.

Citizens of Turkey cast their votes on Sunday in a historic referendum on whether to switch the system of governance to an executive presidency amid reports of alleged voter fraud across the country.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said 99.9 percent of the votes had been counted, leading to a “yes” win with a 51.23 percent majority.

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