Turkey’s electoral board rejects appeals for cancellation of referendum

Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) has rejected all appeals for the annulment and repeat of Sunday’s constitutional referendum.

Applications by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Homeland Party (VP) were rejected by a vote of 10 to 1, the YSK said in a statement on Wednesday.

The parties applied to the YSK on Monday after a decision by the same body validated unsealed ballot papers, contravening the country’s election law.

There is no possibility of appealing the decision.

The CHP had said it would take the case to the International Court of Human Rights if the YSK rejected the application.

The petition for the unsealed ballots to be accepted came from Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Recep Ozel, just ahead of poll closing time.

Critics have said the petition was accepted because the government knew the ‘No’ vote was winning.

The government and Erdogan have rejected the allegations of fraud and irregularities saying the referendum was held in a democratic manner.

Sunday’s referendum has divided the country in half after a marginal victory blighted by allegations of voter fraud and irregularities granted the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping powers.

Thousands of people have been protesting the result amid claims that 2.5 million unsealed votes were accepted following the YSK’s decision.

38 protestors were detained in house raids early Wednesday morning, Turkish media has reported.