Turks provide a support for the constitutional changes
Sunday’s referendum asked voters to choose
‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on an 18-article bill that would see the country switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, among other changes.
With almost all the ballots counted in Turkey’s historic constitutional referendum, as of 9.25 p.m. local time on Sunday, unofficial results showed ‘Yes’ won with 51.39 percent, which is equavalent to 24 million 789 thousand 242. Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast and its three main cities, including the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul, looked set to vote “No.” Total numbers of 23 million 499 thousand 390 voters said ‘No’ representing 48.61 percent of general referendum result. Turnout across the country was 87 percent. Turkish voters living abroad also have provided a strong support to the referendum with more than 48 percent turnout. More than 59 percent of expats who participated voted in favor of the constitutional amendment that will shift the country’s current parliamentary system to a presidential form of governance. Approximately 77 percent of Turks in Belgium, 73 percent in the Netherlands, 65 percent in France and 63 percent in Germany voted “Yes”. “For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his speech in front of the Tarabya Presindential Campus (Huber Villa) Sunday night, referring to the military coups which marred Turkish politics for decades. But opponents questioned the validity of the vote, calling for a recount and challenging a last minute decision by the electoral authorities to allow ballots to be counted that were not stamped by election officials. The head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said the legitimacy of the referendum was open to question. His party said it would demand a recount of up to 60 percent of the votes. Bulent Tezcan, the Vice-President of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said, “This referendum will take place on the black page of history as a ‘polled election’ of 2017, when the open-polled census is being implemented” in a press conference on Monday. “There is only one decision that will ease the nation on the axis of law, the election must be canceled by the Supreme Board of Elections,” Tezcan said.
OSCE announced its findings
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) announcement on the referendum arrived later on Monday:
The constitutional referendum took place in an unequal environment.
The last minute changes in the cuonting procedure have removed significant assurance.
The limited number of polling stations we visited was regular and efficient.
The referendum in general did not meet the standards, the legal infrastructure was inadequate for a truly democratic process.
Administrative resources were used improperly in favor of the “yes” campaign.
The parties were not allowed to be on an equal footing in the media; The Supreme Electoral Council’s ability to block impartial content has been removed.