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Iran Press TV

Minister rejects comments against Turkey's electoral board

Iran Press TV

Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12PM

Turkey's minister for European Union affairs has rejected violation accusations raised against the national electoral board that supervised a plebiscite on changes in the constitution, describing the move as "politically motivated".

Turkey's bar association as well as an international monitor criticized a last-minute decision by the High Electoral Board (YSK) to accept unstamped ballots in Sunday's narrow referendum, which gives President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extensive executive powers. They said the decision is in violation of electoral laws.

However, Turkish government officials have rejected the violation claim.

"Politically motivated comments against the YSK's decision to accept unstamped ballots are wrong," Omer Celik told reporters in the capital Ankara on Tuesday.

Celik defended the YSK decision, claiming Turkey had a strong legal framework and transparent process for elections.

On Monday, President Erdogan made similar comments. He told a crowd of his supporters that his critics should "know their place", adding that Ankara did not "see, hear or acknowledge" any irregularities in the historic referendum.

Meanwhile, the country's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has called for the annulment of the results of the referendum.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported that the 'Yes' campaign won 51.18 percent of the votes, while the 'No' campaign gained 48.82 percent.

"It is impossible to determine how many ...[votes] were stamped later. This is why the only decision that will end debate about the legitimacy (of the referendum) and ease the people's legal concerns is the annulment of this election by the High Electoral Board," said senior CHP figure Bulent Tezcan.

The international community, however, has accepted the results of the referendum.

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