Erdogan could bring back death penalty after Turkey referendum win

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by his wife Emine left waves to supporters prior to his speech during a rally one day after the referendum outside the Presidential Palace in Ankara Turkey Monday

Victory for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday's referendum, albeit a narrow one with 51.3% voting for his proposal for a new presidential form of government, is an example of how democratic processes can, at times, throw up undemocratic results.

They have lost the referendum vote but in some sense see the result as a victory given what they say was the huge pressure of the state against them during the campaign.

They can do this within the period until the final official results are published by the YSK in the next 10 days.

The country voted on Sunday in a plebiscite on granting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extra powers that was won by the "Yes" camp but disputed by the opposition.

If Erdogan's victory is confirmed, Turkey will be transformed from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential republic, with the controversial president having said that he would consider the reintroduction of the death penalty.

In Istanbul, the largest city, and the capital, Ankara, the vote was very close.

The new system will no longer require the president to be nonpartisan, so Erdogan can rejoin the party he co-founded, and have increased influence over who runs for Parliament.

Meanwhile, flag-waving supporters of Mr Erdogan celebrated as their president praised them for their "historic decision" that could keep him in office until 2029. Opponents said it was marred by irregularities and they would challenge the result.

Turkish voters backed a constitutional referendum that concentrates power in the hands of the president on Sunday.

Opposition parties complained of a series of irregularities, including an electoral board decision to accept ballots that did not bear official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

It urged Mr Erdogan to respect the closeness of the vote and to "seek the broadest possible national consensus" when considering the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments.

Members of the ruling AK Party, as well as opposition representatives, were at almost every polling station and signed off the reports, the chairman said.

Representatives from a coalition of global bodies said the referendum took place on an "unlevel playing field" with the "yes" campaign dominating media coverage.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the tight referendum results showed a divided Turkish society and that meant a big responsibility on Mr. Erdogan personally.

Amid swarms of controversy from both opposition parties and worldwide observers alike, Erdogan joyfully claimed victory in the referendum that will change the entire system of government in Turkey for the foreseeable future.

The president also warned the global monitors "not to join a race of casting shadows over the elections", adding: "You can not achieve any result".



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