Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the Kemalist opposition party CHP (Republican People’s Party), has questioned the legitimacy of the referendum election which has given President Erdogan sweeping new powers.
Hours later, the Deputy leader of the CHP Bulent Tezcan called for the results of the referendum to be annulled saying,
“… (the) only one way to end the discussions about the vote’s legitimacy and to put the people at ease… is for the Supreme Electoral Board to cancel the vote.”
The election was won by Erdogan’s ‘YES’ faction with just over 51% of the vote.
A decision during the election was made to accept ballot papers that did not bear the official seal of Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council. Many said that the move was unprecedented, although chairman of the Supreme Electoral Council, Sadi Guven, has said that such things have happened before.
CHP leader Kilicdaroglu said of the vote,
“One cannot change rules during the game; according to the law, ballots without stamps cannot be accepted. We respect the choice of the people, but the decision of the SEC (Supreme Electoral Council) cast a shadow over it. Any agency should comply with the law. The decision of the SEC made the results of the referendum questionable”.
Erdogan responded to claims by the secular opposition saying,
“There are those who are belittling the result. They shouldn’t try, it will be in vain…it is too late now”.
It seems like ‘questioning more’ is no longer permissible in Erdogan’s brave new Turkey.
Meanwhile, videos have emerged on social media which appear to show various kinds of voting irregularities.