CHP not to quit Parliament but present strong opposition

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The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has decided not to withdraw from Parliament but rather stage a strong opposition to the legitimacy of the results of an April 16 referendum that will replace Turkey’s parliamentary system of governance with an executive presidency, the Sözcü daily reported on Sunday.

According the to report, the CHP parliamentary group debated what position to adopt vis-à-vis the results of the referendum and related legislation in Parliament during a six-and-a-half-hour closed meeting on Saturday.

After the Supreme Election Board (YSK) rejected its application for cancellation of the results of the referendum last week, the CHP announced on Friday that it would file a case at the Council of State demanding cancellation of the vote.

During the closed meeting CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told deputies not to leave Parliament and to use all possible means to present a strong voice against the referendum results and related legislation, Sözcü reported.

The CHP also decided not to invite people into the streets for “Democracy and Justice Meetings,” which are expected to be organized soon.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Saturday that the Constitutional Court and the Council of State have no option but to reject an appeal by the CHP to annul a decision by the YSK.
A constitutional reform package introducing an executive presidency in Turkey was approved by 51.4 percent of the electorate in last Sunday’s referendum.

During the voting, some citizens cast their votes in unstamped ballots, while others used envelopes and ballots they brought with them, which prompted some opposition parties and naysayers to raise suspicions about the validity of the votes.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said on April 17 that Turkey’s referendum lacked equal opportunities, media coverage for the contesting sides and international standards for a fair election.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed a statement issued the same day by the OSCE that criticized Turkey’s referendum for lacking international standards and said Turkey would not recognize the report.

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