Erdoğan says referendum issue is over

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivers a speech as he receives the children attending the 39th TRT International 23 April Children's Festival at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 20, 2017.

Amid claims of fraud made by opposition parties regarding a Sunday referendum on an executive presidential system in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday said nothing is left to debate and that the results are final.

“The decision of the YSK [Supreme Election Board] is final. This issue is over,” Erdoğan said.

“The people have decided with 52 percent [of the vote],” added Erdoğan, calling on everyone to respect the will of the people.

“The is not within the authority of the AYM [Constitutional Court] or the ECtHR [European Court of Human Rights].”

Turkey’s YSK on Wednesday rejected a demand for cancellation of the referendum made by the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP).

A constitutional reform package that introduces an executive presidency in Turkey received 51.4 percent of the vote in favor in the referendum, but some opposition parties have contested the results due to the use of unstamped ballots.

CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan, who spoke to reporters after submitting his party’s application to the YSK in Ankara on Tuesday, talked about the use of unstamped ballots in the referendum, saying that the stamped ballots were not separated from the unstamped ones; hence, it is impossible to predict how many unstamped votes were cast.

“All these negativities create a perfect situation of unlawfulness. The referendum needs to be cancelled due to it,” Tezcan said.

HDP group deputy chairperson Ahmet Yıldırım and HDP deputies Mithat Sancar, İmam Taşçıer, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Müslüm Doğan and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan submitted a petition to the YSK on Wednesday demanding the cancellation of the referendum results.

Late on Sunday, the YSK had issued instructions that significantly changed the ballot validity criteria and said unstamped ballots were valid.

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