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Supporters of presidential system claim victory in Turkish referendum

April 17, 0:15 updated at: April 17, 2:50 UTC+3 ANKARA

The proposed amendments, initiated by the ruling Justice and Development Party, include the abolition of the Office of the prime minister

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© EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

ANKARA, April 17. /TASS/. The Central Election Commission of Turkey has announced the victory of supporters of amendments to the constitution of Turkey at the referendum with a landslide of 1.25 million votes, Sadi Guven, head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) told journalists today.

The final results will be announced at the latest 11-12 days, Guven said, adding that "counting votes is almost complete, and about 600,000 ballots are yet to be processed."

Speaking about controversial reports that ballots without required official seals on them were accepted for counting, Guven said that this does not contradict the law on elections, and "the same decisions were taken by the CEC in the course of previous voting." He also noted that "the representatives of the (ruling) Justice and Development Party and the People's Republican Party (the main opposition party) were present at almost all polling stations, and there are protocols of ballots processing signed by them."

Meanwhile, the government is dissatisfied with the results of the referendum, especially with such a narrow victory.

The main opposition - the People's Republican Party will require the CEC to recalculate around 60% of the ballots, as it does not agree with the results, believing that the authorities are manipulating processing ballots in their favor.

Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party also intends to apply to the CEC with a demand to recount votes. According to the spokesman of the party, the repressive measures of the authorities cast a shadow on the legitimacy of the entire referendum.

The proposed amendments, initiated by the ruling Justice and Development Party, include the abolition of the Office of the Prime Minister. They also allow the president to continue being a member of a party, expand his legislative and executive powers, and give him the right to form the cabinet of ministers.

The amendments will, however, introduce measures of parliamentary control over the head of state’s activities.

If the amendments are approved, the next election of the president and the parliament will be held on November 3, 2019.

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