The News – Capital Media
The News – Capital Media
  • Turkey's Justice Minister: Time to Contest Vote Results Over

  • Unofficial results show the "yes" campaign for transforming Turkey's parliamentary government system into a presidential one garnered 51.4 percent of the vote

. The placard centre reads in Turkish: 'NO, we will win' and the one right, reads: 'NO, it is not over, it has just started'. Turkey's opposition party is contesting the results of April 16 referendum over a number of irregularities, in particular an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis), photo: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

22 of April 2017 20:14:56

ISTANBUL — Turkey's ruling party and the main opposition party kept up their fight Saturday over the results of the referendum on expanding the president's powers.In a series of tweets Saturday, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag slammed the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for continuing to object to the results of the April 16 referendum due to voting irregularities, saying that judicial paths to reverse the ruling are shut.The CHP fired back, saying he was threatening the judiciary in order to get them to rule against the party's case.Unofficial results show the "yes" campaign for transforming Turkey's parliamentary government system into a presidential one garnered 51.4 percent of the vote. Official results by the electoral board are expected next week.[caption id="attachment_56731" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] In this Tuesday, April 18, 2017 photo, supporters of the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, chant slogans during a protest outside Istanbul's Court House. Photo: AP Photo/Petros Karadjias[/caption]Bozdag said all decisions on electoral issues, including complaints and fraud allegations, are in the purview of Turkey's electoral board."Applications against the High Electoral Board's decisions cannot be taken to any court or authority, including the Council of State and the Constitutional Court," he tweeted. Bozdag said these judicial organs would "have no choice but to reject" such applications based on Turkish laws."No court can undo/change the decisions of the nation," he tweeted.The opposition on Friday appealed to the Council of State — the nation's highest administrative court — seeking to overturn the electoral board's controversial decision validating unstamped ballot papers.Earlier in the week, the electoral board rejected a request to annul the referendum by a 10-1 vote.CHP lawmaker Levent Gok told reporters on Saturday that Bozdag's tweets mean the justice minister "put pressure on the judges, instructed them and threatened them." Gok called this "a top-down legal massacre," while promising to pursue a legal process to void the "questionable" referendum result.International monitors say the electoral board's decision removed an important safeguard against fraud and was "contrary to Turkish law." The electoral board, however, published past rulings on the validity of unstamped ballots.CHP officials said they would contest the ruling at the Constitutional Court and if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights.

ZEYNEP BILGINSOY



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