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Turkey election board 'rejects referendum annulment bid'

Turkey election board 'rejects referendum annulment bid'”

"After the announcement of official results, we will invite our Founding Chairman [Erdogan] to our party and we will be glad to see him among us", Yildirim said. The board overwhelmingly voted to reject the parties' appeals.

President Trump, who came to power in January following an eight-year Obama tenure, called Monday to congratulate Erdogan on Sunday's historic referendum, in which Turkish voters approved changes to the country's constitution that would usher in an executive presidency.

The change could potentially allow Mr Erdogan to remain in power until 2029.

Yildirim said the "the path to seek rights" should be limited to legal objections and urged the opposition to accept the vote's outcome.

More than 64 percent of Mersin's electorate voted "No" in the referendum, a surprise outcome in a city which had voted largely for the ruling AK Party, which was founded by Erdogan, in a November 2015 general election.

The "yes" vote won 51.4 percent of the vote, meaning he squeezed home by the narrowest of gaps.

But the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), along with individuals and civil society groups, have challenged the result - amid concerns over unstamped ballots in particular - and called for it to be annulled. Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking Sunday's referendum to be annulled because of voting irregularities.

On Tuesday, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu slammed the Supreme Election Board's decision to count unsealed ballots in the referendum.

Meanwhile, observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe also said earlier this week that "lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage, and limitations on fundamental freedoms" had created an "unlevel playing field" in the vote.

Hundreds of people queued and protested outside the Turkish election board's offices in Ankara and Istanbul to demand a controversial last-minute decision during Sunday's referendum to accept ballots without official stamps verifying them as genuine was overturned.

To his detractors - mostly from liberal backgrounds, LGBT and other vulnerable communities - the referendum represents an enormous threat to Turkey's democracy.

HDP's Cencar said there were great number of unsealed ballot ticket which he said were the greatest evidence that showed the fraud and irregularities.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlet Cavusoglu on Wednesday accused the OSCE of bias and deliberately putting errors into its report. "From the German government's point of view, Turkey must ... clear up the questions that have been raised".

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, the commission's spokesman added: "As far as the future is concerned, as President Juncker has said in the past, we encourage Turkey to move closer to the European Union again and not to move even further and faster away from us".

The Istanbul Bar Association on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against electoral board head Sadi Guven for "wrongful conduct" and "altering the result of the election".



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