Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Local | By Dorothy Bennett

For Trump, no qualms in embracing autocratic leaders

Yesterday the main opposition CHP party said it was considering taking its appeal for the referendum to be annulled to the Constitutional Court of Turkey or the European Court of Human Rights after the country's electoral authority rejected challenges by the CHP and two other parties.

Turkey's bar association said this week that the last-minute decision by the YSK electoral board to allow the unstamped ballots was clearly against the law, prevented proper records being kept, and may have impacted the results.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he would meet his United States counterpart Donald Trump in Washington on May 16-17, Anadolu reported.

The board said it objected appeals presented by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the People's Democratic Party (HDP) as well as the "Patriotic Party", as ten members decided against annulling the vote, while only one voted in favor, the board said in a statement.

Election monitors criticised the referendum process and the YSK's ruling on unsealed envelopes earlier this week.

As The Post stated, EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the EU was encouraging "Turkey to move closer to the European Union again, and not to move even further and faster away from us".

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said a "lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms" had created an "unlevel playing field" in Turkey's vote.

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With Turkish police beginning to crack down on those who have called for demonstrations over the result, left-wing website said its editor-in-chief Ali Ergin Demirhan was held in a pre-down raid on its offices.

He says the party's next stop is Turkey's constitutional court and, if it is unsuccessful there, then the European Court of Human Rights.

Commenting on the CHP's decision to appeal the referendum, Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters in Ankara on Friday that the YSK's decision was final and there were "no legal ways to change it". "It is not right to correct the decision of the people by complaining to the courts".

Supporters of the "NO" vote, ( "Hayir" in Turkish) participate in a protest against the referendum outcome, in Istanbul, Friday, April 21, 2017.

On Sunday, 51.4 percent of Turks voted "Yes" to approve changes to their constitution and grant the country's presidential office extensive executive powers, according to unofficial results.

Global monitors say the electoral board's decision removed an important safeguard against fraud and was "contrary to Turkish law".

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