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Turkey's opposition party demanded a recount after a divisive referendumby Circa News
Global News

UPDATE April 17, 6:13 a.m. EST:

The Turkish opposition party is demanding a partial recount after Sunday's constitutional referendum that consolidated power to the office of the president, citing irregularities in the voting process, Al Jazeera reports

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said he respects the electorate but criticized the election board's decision to bcount ballots that didn't have an official stamp. 51.4 percent of voters supported the referendum. 

"When I say that we did everything we could, I mean everything within the law. Those who campaigned for a 'Yes' vote breached the law."

Kemal Kilicdaroglu

The head of Turkish electoral board, Said Guven, said the unsealed ballots were valid and a decision had been made on that before the votes were counted. 

UPDATE 2:43p.m. ET: Leader of Turkey's nationalist party declared victory for "yes" side.

Millions of Turks voted Sunday on a controversial referendum that would give sweeping new powers to the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The new draft constitution is an 18-article reform package put forward by the ruling Justice and Development Party that would replace the current system of parliamentary democracy with a powerful executive presidency.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency says with 57 percent of ballots counted, the "yes" votes are leading with 56.5 percent for expanding the president's powers.

In this tweet, a map shows how Sunday's votes were expected to play out.

Erdogan and his supporters say the "Turkish-style" presidential system would bring stability and prosperity in a country rattled by a coup attempt last year and a series of devastating attacks by the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants.

Opponents fear the changes will lead to autocratic one-man rule by the 63-year-old Erdogan, who has been accused of repressing rights and freedoms.

More than 55 million people of about 80 million were registered to vote and more than 1.3 million Turkish voters cast their ballots abroad.

Even Salt Bae voted in Turkey’s referendum Sunday.

In this photo, a member of an electoral committee takes part in a counting procedure after the closing of the voting inside a polling station in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, on Sunday, April 16, 2017. (Credit: Associated Press)