Euro court rejects CHP’s application for cancellation of Turkey’s constitutional referendum
A complaint filed by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the April 16 constitutional referendum was deemed “inadmissible” on Nov. 30.
The complaint filed by the CHP concerning the April 16 vote on constitutional amendments had been lodged on July 4.
According to an ECHR statement, the CHP argued the referendum took place under unfavorable and undemocratic conditions.
“Referendums, unlike elections, are not held at reasonable intervals owing to the fact that in most, if not all cases, they represent a system of ascertaining the opinion of the people on a matter that is not a recurrent subject, such as the constitutional referendum in the present case,” said the court.
“Secondly, and importantly, referendums are not usually organized as a means of electing citizens to certain posts, in other words, as an election giving the electorate the possibility to choose the legislature,” it said.
“In the present case, although the constitutional referendum introduced many significant changes to the constitution, the people of Turkey were clearly not choosing any particular person or persons for a legislative post or posts,” it added.
The reforms passed in April will extend the Turkish president’s executive powers and the president will also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.
The other major changes include lowering the age to become a lawmaker to 18 from 25, increasing the number of seats in parliament from 550 to 600, closing down military courts, and same-day parliamentary and presidential elections every five years.
Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term will be held in November 2019 under the new constitution.