Main opposition CHP to use all democratic means against referendum results

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will use all its democratic rights to ensure the referendum is rerun, CHP spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke has said, vowing that her party will “not recognize” the result of the April 16 referendum.

“This referendum should be repeated. We will not act as if there is a constitution that is not existent. We will not buckle under a fait accompli. There should be no doubt that we will use every democratic right that we have to ensure it,” Böke said during a Central Executive Board meeting of her party on April 19. 

“The result of the referendum was not ‘yes’ and this constitutional amendment was not approved,” she added.

“The referendum that took place on April 16 is null and void. This is clearly an election [that used unsealed ballots],” Böke said, arguing that the referendum process was fraudulent and the results were manipulated. 

“There were attempts to ensure that the result that was not won with a public vote are gained by the Supreme Board of Elections [YSK] through dozens of tricks organized in this way. This referendum is not either questionable or dubious, it is clearly against the law, illegitimate and void,” she said. “The thing that was stolen was the will of the people. Our will was usurped. Perceptions were manipulated with tricks and public statements that were made in haste. We do not acknowledge the result of this referendum and we will not do so,” she added. 

Criticism to Erdoğan

Böke also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for likening the result to a football match. 

“It does not matter if you win by 1-0 or 5-0, you eventually gain three points,” Erdoğan had said on April 18 in an interview on CNN International.  

“We have been saying the issue is the issue of Turkey. But there is an understanding that considers it as a sports game. The words that the president uttered show that he regards this issue not as an issue of Turkey but as a political issue,” Böke said.

Argument over ‘leaving parliament’

Answering reporter’s questions concerning the CHP’s next step, her comments were interpreted as a sign that the party may boycott parliamentary work. 

“By [all democratic rights] I include the possibility of either seceding from parliament or continuing to work in parliament,” she said. 

However, after the board meeting, CHP Deputy Group Chairperson Levent Gök said it “had not adopted an approach in line with seceding from parliament.”

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