Turkey’s premier calls on opposition to respect referendum
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Turkey’s premier calls on opposition to respect referendum

Republican People’s Party to lodge formal demand to annul results, citing major violations in ballots

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) as he arrives for a meeting at the Turkish parliament on April 18, 2017 in Ankara. (ADEM ALTAN / AFP)
Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) as he arrives for a meeting at the Turkish parliament on April 18, 2017 in Ankara. (ADEM ALTAN / AFP)

Turkey’s prime minister on Tuesday called on the opposition to respect the result of a referendum that will expand the powers of the office of the president.

Turkey’s main opposition party will formally present the Supreme Election Board (YSK) with a demand to annul the result of the referendum, after alleging major violations.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chairman Bulent Tezcan will present the demand on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. local time, the party said in a statement.

In an address to legislators from his ruling party, Binali Yildirim said the people had voted to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system.

“The nation’s will emerged freely from the ballot box… This work has now finished,” he said. “It’s wrong to say something after the nation has spoken,” he said.”

An unofficial tally carried by the country’s state-run news agency gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “yes” camp a narrow win.

Supporters of the 'no' vote protest in Istanbul, against the referendum outcome, Monday, April 17, 2017. The placards reads in Turkish: 'No we will win'. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Supporters of the ‘no’ vote protest in Istanbul, against the referendum outcome, Monday, April 17, 2017. The placards reads in Turkish: ‘No we will win’. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The opposition has been particularly incensed by a last-minute move from the YSK to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp, as required by Turkish law.

International monitors said the move undermined safeguards against fraud.

The “Yes” camp won Sunday’s referendum with 51.41 percent of the vote but the aftermath has been shadowed by opposition claims of blatant vote-rigging and angry protests in parts of Istanbul.

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