Supreme Election Board rejects opposition’s cancellation demand

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Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) on Wednesday rejected a demand by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for the cancellation of a referendum held on April 16 due to irregularities in the voting process, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The CHP, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP) applied to the YSK for cancellation of the referendum.

According to the report, the decision was taken in a 10 to 1 vote.

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 this unlawfulness,” 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 issued instructions that significantly changed the ballot validity criteria and said the unstamped ballots were valid.

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