CHP applying to ECtHR demanding cancellation of referendum results

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Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is applying to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for cancellation of the results of a referendum on April 16 due to the use of unstamped ballots, according to a statement from CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Tuesday.

Signing a petition to be submitted to the ECtHR on Tuesday, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “Unfortunately, the results of this referendum were illegitimate due to a decision made by the Supreme Election Board [YSK]. We have prepared a petition. We are applying to the European Court of Human Rights, and I am signing it [the petition] here. … Petitions will be sent [to the European court] today.”

Earlier, the YSK, which changed the ballot validity criteria and accepted the unstamped ballots as valid, rejected a demand by CHP for the cancellation of the referendum.

The CHP then filed a case at Turkey’s Council of State and demanded a stay for the referendum results. However, the court rejected its application on the grounds that it was outside its jurisdiction. The court made its ruling with a majority of votes.

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

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