Votes stolen by election board, not in ballot boxes: Main opposition leader
ANKARAMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has accused Turkey’s High Election Board (YSK) of “stealing” votes in the April 16 constitutional amendment referendum, saying his party protected people’s votes at the ballot boxes but could not foresee “thieving” by the YSK.
“We had a strong grip on the ballot boxes and told citizens, ‘Go to the ballots and cast your votes. We’ll take care of ballot security.’ And we did. But we found that the votes were not stolen at the ballot boxes but in YSK.” Kılıçdaroğlu said on April 29, addressing the CHP’s provincial heads.
He added that his party was wrong to “trust the YSK,” and therefore did not guess about the “theft” by it.
Kılıçdaroğlu also stated that the referendum had proven that some judges “act on orders by the political authority.”
On the day of the referendum, the YSK cast a shadow over the vote by deciding to accept unstamped ballot papers “unless it can be proved that they were brought from outside the voting room,” sparking a major debate on the result of the referendum, in which the “yes” campaign emerged as the winner with 51.4 percent of the votes.
The YSK, however, stated on its website that unless there was proof that ballots and envelopes were brought from outside, they would be accepted as valid. YSK chairman Sadi Güven defended the practice in a press conference late on April 16, saying similar practices had been held in previous elections.