CHP applies to ECtHR for cancellation of referendum results

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Electoral staff members count votes after polls closed in Turkey's tightly-contested referendum on expanding the powers of the president on April 16, 2017 in Istanbul. Turkey was voting to decide whether to expand the president's powers in a bitterly-contested referendum set to determine the future course of the key NATO member and EU hopeful. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) demanding cancellation of the results of a referendum held in Turkey on April 16 due to irregularities in the voting process.

A constitutional reform package introducing an executive presidency in Turkey was approved by 51.4 percent of the electorate in the referendum.

CHP İzmir deputy Musa Çam filed the application at the ECtHR in which he talked about the developments before and after the April 16 referendum and said that all public resources were used to ensure that a “yes” vote emerged from the referendum.

Çam also said naysayers were accused of siding with terror organizations during the campaign process and the referendum took place under a state of emergency, declared in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, during which rights and freedoms have been significantly curbed.

In his application, Çam also mentioned the irregularities during the voting process.

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 CHP already applied to the country’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) last week to have the results of the referendum cancelled, but its application was rejected by the board.

On Tuesday, Turkey’s Council of State also rejected a case filed by the CHP demanding cancellation of the referendum results on the grounds that it was outside its jurisdiction. The court made its ruling with a majority of votes.

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