April 19, 2017 / 8:35 AM / 4 months ago

Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition appeals for annulment of referendum

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, April 17, 2017.Umit Bektas

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition HDP filed an appeal to the country's electoral board on Wednesday for the annulment of a referendum which handed President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, saying there had been widespread violations.

HDP deputy chairman Mithat Sancar said the fact that the campaign was held under emergency rule while the party's co-leaders were under arrest, that its candidates for polling station monitors were rejected, and that state resources were used in the "yes" campaign all undermined the vote.

He also said the electoral board's last-minute decision to allow unstamped ballots had prevented proper record-keeping, meaning that it was now impossible to determine how many invalid or fake votes may have been counted. Some voters had been unable to cast their ballots in private, he also said.

"This referendum will forever remain controversial," he told reporters. "You cannot build a change in the political system on such a controversial and unfair referendum."

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Nick Tattersall

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