Erdogan to rejoin AK Party after official referendum results released

The announcement made by Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim comes as the leader of the opposition CHP formally applied to annul the results of Sunday's referendum on constitutional change.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Erdogan has responded to critics of Sunday's referendum results by saying that the outcome is clear and the time for debate is over.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, whose position will cease to exist once the constitutional changes approved by Turkish citizens in a referendum on Sunday take full effect, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be invited to rejoin the governing AK Party as soon as the official results are announced.

The constitutional reforms that were voted in favour during Sunday’s referendum allows the president to maintain ties to a political party for the first time. This also means Erdogan could resume leadership of the AK Party, having resigned from the party in 2014 after he was elected as Turkey's president. 

"After the announcement of official results, we will invite our Founding Chairman [Erdogan] to our party and we will be glad to see him among us," Yildirim said during a weekly parliamentary group meeting in Ankara.

Yildirim also rejected claims about disputed ballots in Sunday's historic referendum in which the "yes" campaign won with 51.41 percent, while the No votes stood at 48.59 percent, according to unofficial results.

"Each segment of society, especially the main opposition party, should respect the referendum results," the premier said, adding: "It is wrong to overshadow the referendum by claiming the election result is questionable."

Calls for annulment

Meanwhile, Turkey's main opposition party CHP filed a formal request seeking the referendum to be annulled because of voting irregularities.
Bulent Tezcan, deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party, announced the move at the Ankara offices of the electoral board.

He said the results of the referendum on constitutional changes are "illegitimate" and the party would use all legal paths to challenge it. 

Speaking in the CHP parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, the leader of the party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, slammed the order of the election board, also known as YSK, to consider unsealed ballots as valid during the referendum.

Kilicdaroglu accused the board of breaking the country’s laws during the referendum. He claimed the election board “does not draw its strength from superiority of law, constitution but from a certain centre, political authority."

The head of YSK responded to the accusations, saying the disputed ballots in Turkey’s referendum are “legitimate."

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies