Turkey’s Inconclusive Referendum

Erdogan is determined to concentrate all powers in his office and eliminate the ability of the judiciary and opposition to check his rule. With such a radical change to Turkey’s political system at stake, Sunday’s vote was meant to take the national pulse. While unofficial figures indicate a slight majority in favor of the referendum, the electorate’s response remains inconclusive.

The two largest opposition parties, the secular Republican People’s Party (also known by its Turkish acronym CHP) and the predominantly Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), are challenging the legality of this weekend’s electoral procedures. Turkey’s election law unequivocally states that ballots without official stamps are not valid. On Sunday, however, the Supreme Election Council changed the rules over an hour after counting had begun, announcing it would accept ballots without official stamps after all. The CHP and HDP argue that an administrative body such as the election council does not have the authority to unilaterally amend electoral law.

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