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Turkish board rejects referendum appeals

Reuters ANKARA (Reuters) — Turkey’s electoral authority on Wednesday rejected appeals to annul a referendum granting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wide new powers, but the main opposition CHP party said it would maintain its legal challenge to the result.

Sunday’s referendum narrowly backed the largest overhaul of Turkey’s political system since the founding of the republic nearly a century ago, giving Erdogan sweeping authority over the NATO member-state.

But the tight result of a highly charged campaign laid bare divisions, while European observers and the head of Turkey’s bar associations union said a decision to count unstamped votes broke electoral law.

The High Electoral Board said it had assessed appeals from the CHP and two other parties at a seven-hour meeting, and rejected them by 10 to one.

In response, CHP Deputy Chairman Bulent Tezcan said his party was considering taking its appeal to Turkey’s Constitutional Court or the European Court of Human Rights.

“This is a serious legitimacy crisis. We will employ all legal ways available,” Tezcan said.

Separately, Istanbul police detained 19 suspects on charges of attempted provocation for organizing protests against the referendum, Dogan News Agency reported.Speech

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