Opposition calls for Turkish vote annulment after Erdogan wins powers

Opposition calls for Turkish vote annulment after Erdogan wins powers

Opposition calls for Turkish vote annulment after Erdogan wins powers

"The referendum took place on an unlevel playing field and the two sides of the campaign did not have equal opportunities", said Cezar Florin Preda of the joint mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

According to the preliminary results of the referendum held in Turkey on Sunday, 51.3 percent of voters supported the proposed constitutional amendments, which, if passed, will expand presidential powers over the judicial and legislative branches of the government. Under the changes, President Erdogan could stay in power through 2029. "We expect especially the countries we see as our allies to tune their ties with our country in line with our fight against terrorism and sensitivities of Turkey", Erdogan said.

Erdogan said he hopes the referendum results would benefit Turkey, and that the nation made a "historic decision", in an address after Yildirim's declaration.

The main secularist opposition People's Republican Party said it was still unclear how many votes were affected.

"For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics", he said in a victory speech.

Germany, home to the largest number of Turks outside Turkey, said the apparent closeness of the result highlights a deep division in the country.

The vote has divided Turkey, with supporters claiming the change will bring stability and efficiency to the government, while opponents have said that the move is a risky step toward one-man rule.

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But critics say the move grants sweeping powers to Mr Erdogan following last July's failed coup.

"The result shows that Turkish society is deeply divided".

Merkel and Gabriel pointed to the Commission's reservations and said that, as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE security and human rights watchdog and an European Union accession candidate, Turkey should quickly address those concerns. Official results are expected within 12 days.

Mr Erdogan has insisted the changes are needed to amend the current constitution, which was written by generals following a 1980 military coup, to confront security and political challenges in Turkey and avoid past fragile coalition governments.

The High Electoral Board (YSK) confirmed late on Sunday the results had shown the "Yes" campaign with 1.25 million more votes than the "No" camp.

Under the proposals, the office of prime minister would be abolished, allowing the president to draft the budget, declare a state of emergency and issue decrees overseeing ministries without parliamentary approval.

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