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Turkish opposition lawmaker appeals to European court over referendum
April 28, 2017 / 11:13 AM / in 6 months

Turkish opposition lawmaker appeals to European court over referendum

ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish opposition lawmaker has submitted an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights demanding the annulment of a referendum that granted President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping executive powers.

Musa Cam, a lawmaker for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told Reuters he submitted an individual appeal independently from the one the party is expected to make to the European Court.

Despite opposition challenges, the ruling AK Party is pushing ahead with implementing the constitutional changes approved in the April 16 referendum.

Erdogan will again become a member of the AKP at a party meeting on May 2, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters after Friday prayers. He is expected to be named as a candidate to lead the party at a congress on May 21.

Under the old constitution, the head of state had to remain impartial and renounce party ties.

In his application, seen by Reuters, Cam said a decision by Turkey’s High Electoral Board (YSK) to allow unstamped ballots in the referendum had caused the outcome to be “illegitimate and not representative of the people’s will”.

Final results released by the YSK on Thursday showed 51.4 percent support for the “Yes” vote to approve the biggest changes to Turkey’s political system in its modern history.

The results, which matched the preliminary figures released in the hours after polling closed on April 16, were released despite calls by the CHP to delay a final announcement while they appealed the vote. The YSK and a Turkish court, the council of state, have rejected or declined to hear the CHP appeals.

Erdogan and the “Yes” camp have said appeals were an attempt to undermine the results of the vote, adding only the YSK had jurisdiction on the matter.

The package of 18 amendments passed in the referendum gives the president the authority to draft the budget, declare a state of emergency and issue decrees overseeing ministries without parliamentary approval.

Reporting by Gulsen Solaker and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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