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Turkish President Erdogan wins referendum


2017-04-17

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has narrowly won a referendum to expand presidential powers, which could keep him in office until 2029.

With 99.45% of ballots counted, the “Yes” campaign had won 51.37% and “No” 48.63%, and the electoral board called victory for “Yes”.

Erdogan supporters say replacing the parliamentary system with an executive presidency will modernise the country. Turkey’s two main opposition parties said they would challenge the results.

The Republican People’s Party demanded a recount of 60% of votes. They criticised a decision to accept unstamped ballot papers as valid unless proven otherwise.

As jubilant Erdogan supporters rallied in the big cities, pots and pans were banged in Istanbul by opponents of the referendum, in a traditional form of protest.

The European Commission called on the Turkish authorities in a statement to “seek the broadest possible national consensus” when implementing the constitutional reforms.