Turkey election board 'rejects referendum annulment bid'

Turkey election board 'rejects referendum annulment bid'

Before the electoral board's announcement, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the opposition had the right to file objections, but warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

Turkey's High Electoral Board rejected on Wednesday appeals to from the main opposition parties to annul the referendum granting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, the board said in a statement.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish HDP had called on the electoral board to annul Sunday's referendum because unstamped ballot papers were included in the count.

In one video, a man who was identified by France 24 as Mehmet Koçlardan, the leader of a village in east Turkey from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), is seen casting five votes into a ballot box.

Everyone, and the main opposition party in particular, must show respect.

The leftist BirGun daily and opposition T24 website said at least five activists had been detained so far while arrest warrants had been issued for a total of 38 people.

Istanbul: A Turkish police helicopter with 12 people, including seven police officers, and a judge, crashed yesterday due to unfavourable weather in eastern Turkey.

The referendum has no "democratic legitimacy", HDP spokesman and lawmaker, Osman Baydemir, told reporters in Ankara.

US VP Pence says to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'
That kind of rhetoric has unnerved allies in Japan and South Korea, who would be at the sharp end of any North Korean response. For its part, China made a plea for a return to negotiations.

A State Department statement on the referendum cited "observed irregularities on voting day and an uneven playing field during the hard campaign period, which took place during a state of emergency". He accused the board of "changing the rules midgame".

The CHP said in a petition for annulment that the decision by the Supreme Board of Elections to include the unsealed ballots violated Turkish law.

To the dismay of opposition parties and "No" supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the decision undermined important election safeguards.

"What matters for us is not so much the first reaction from whomever in Turkey, directed more at domestic politics, but whether the responsible Turkish authorities really deal seriously with the criticism voiced publicly by the OSCE election observer mission, which was meant seriously and researched seriously".

U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, ignored the concerns about voting irregularities and congratulated Erdogan on his referendum victory.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responded to the report earlier on Wednesday, saying it has "no reliability as their observations lack objectivity and are extremely partial". "We do not have any difficulties on that front", Erdogan added. "After our president and Trump confirmed a meeting in May, [US Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson and I will set a date", Cavusoglu said.

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