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CHP spokesperson resigns to protest party stance on referendum results

Selin Sayek Böke /AFP

Amid an intra-party power struggle, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman and spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke resigned from both positions on Saturday, promising to work for a democratic and free Turkey.

“I have resigned from the position of deputy chairman responsible for the economy as well as spokesperson,” Böke said in a tweet with an attached a statement.

Underlining that the will of at least 50 percent of the people who rejected a one-man regime in an April 16 referendum was illegally usurped, Böke criticized the CHP’s recent approach to the referendum: “The responsibility of the Republican People’s Party is not to legitimize what is illegitimate, but to engage in a political struggle with people to turn this democratic will into the reality of Turkey. Creating goals and policies by accepting the illegitimate results of the referendum is an injustice to democracy and an injustice to millions of people who expressed their democratic will.”

Böke underlined that the CHP did not take the necessary steps against the illegitimate results of the referendum, starting from the night of April 16.

Following the referendum Böke had said the use of unstamped ballots made the referendum “controversial” and that her party would do everything possible to secure a repeat of the vote, including withdrawing from Parliament.

But the party later announced that it would not leave Parliament.

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

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