Wednesday 21 February 2018

Turkish minister says ECHR has 'no jurisdiction' over referendum

A man with a Turkish flag (AP/Emrah Gurel)
A man with a Turkish flag (AP/Emrah Gurel)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday that the European Court of Human Rights had no jurisdiction to rule on appeals over the referendum granting President Tayyip Erdogan new powers.

The main opposition CHP party said on Wednesday it might take its appeal for the referendum to be annulled to Turkey's Constitutional Court or the ECHR after the country's electoral authority rejected challenges by the CHP and two other parties.

Earlier this week, Turkey's electoral board rejected petitions by opposition parties to annul the outcome of the weekend's referendum on expanding presidential powers because of voting irregularities.

The decision led protesters in Istanbul to call for the resignation of board members while the main opposition party said it would take the decision to Turkey's top court.

The High Electoral Board announced in a written statement its decision by a 10-1 vote to reject three requests by the opposition.

Mehmet Hadimi Yakupoglu, the main opposition Republican People's Party's representative at the board, said they would take the decision to the constitutional court and then to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

"We will demand the rights of the voters until the end," he said.

Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

The board, however, published past rulings on the validity of unstamped ballots.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Reuters

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