Hurryet : Row sparks over vote count amid main opposition CHP’s claims

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said it will object to the referendum results on grounds that the vote for the constitutional amendment were manipulated in terms of content and method, a party senior has said, while the state-run Anadolu Agency concluded the results as a tight win for the “yes” vote.

“Since the morning there has been a serious chaos all over Turkey. The Supreme Board of Elections [YSK] has declared that the board will deem voting papers without official seals as valid. They cancelled voting papers without seals in the ballots abroad. It was the same board that did this,” CHP deputy leader Erdal Aksünger said March 16, stating that the opposition party will make necessary appeals to object.

“We will object,” he added.

Aksünger said his party received information over claims there was misuse of documents with wet signatures, criticizing the YSK’s decision that deemed voting papers without YSK seals on them as valid.

“Besides, there were two different types of stamps; one said ‘choice’ others said ‘yes’ on it. It is a reason in itself to cancel,” he said, adding that the election laws were violated in many cities across Turkey.

“In eastern and southeastern cities, the election observers from the ‘no’ groups were removed from their ballots. There were many violations in terms of the form of the elections. There were people who voted outside booths, violating the secret ballot rule. There were people who went to the ballot boxes with their village governors; these are all violations,” he added.

“Overall, there is a very serious manipulation here. Now, I am looking at the official results of the YSK, which states that 90 percent of the ballot boxes were opened. But state-run Anadolu Agency said 99 percent of the ballot boxes were opened. This is a clear manipulation,” he said, arguing that the news agency manipulated the results of the referendum before the official results were announced.

The YSK, however, stated on its website that unless there was no proof that ballot papers and envelopes were brought from outside, they will be accepted as valid.

“The counting process should be done according to this decision,” it added.

The Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also announced that the party will object to the results.

“Irrespective of the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ victory, we will object to two thirds of the ballots. The information we have received indicates a 3 to 4 percent manipulation,” the HDP announced through their official Twitter account on late April 16.

Result for ‘No’ is 52 percent, MHP dissident politician Akşener says
Former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmaker Meral Akşener, who renegaded from her party months ahead of the vote to campaign for the “No” vote, also criticized the YSK’s decisions.

“About the voting papers without the YSK seals; it is a scandal! It is a scandal that the YSK has announced that they will deem it valid. Two of our lawmaker friends are making the necessary appeals,” Akşener said in a televised interview on private broadcaster Fox TV late April 16.

Akşener also stated that the state-run agency’s results indicated a manipulation.

“According to the official results received by the YSK, the ‘No’ votes lead by 52 percent,” she added.

“On the other hand, the information we have received from YSK indicates that the entire results were not registered by the YSK yet. Anadolu Agency is making the manipulation,” she said.

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