While President Buhari praises Turkish referendum, European Union calls for transparent investigations

While President Buhari praises Turkish referendum, European Union calls for transparent investigations

Mr. Erdogan, speaking from his official residence in Istanbul on Sunday, said the referendum had closed the door on Turkey's long history of military intervention in government.

Unlike the Nigerian leader, the European Union on Tuesday called on Turkish authorities to launch "transparent investigations" after worldwide observers criticised the fairness of the voting process during the recent referendum.

Binali Yildirim made the call during an address to legislators from his ruling party, as the country's main opposition party prepared to apply to the country's highest electoral board to seek an annulation of Sunday's vote which gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "yes" camp a narrow win.

Global observers on Monday said the referendum campaign was conducted on an "unlevel playing field".

But the tight result of a highly charged campaign laid bare divisions, while European observers and the head of Turkey's bar associations union said a decision to count unstamped votes broke electoral law.

One tradeoff for that deal with Turkey, in which it acts as a buffer, has been the promise of giving 75 million Turks the right to enter the EU's Schengen area without a visa.

In response, CHP Deputy Chairman Bulent Tezcan said his party was considering taking its appeal to Turkey's Constitutional Court or the European Court of Human Rights.

US VP Pence warns North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'
Pence signed baseballs for players and was presented with two jerseys at Wednesday's gathering with dozens of young ballplayers. The Reagan is now undergoing a four-month scheduled maintenance at the docks of Yokosuka and will only be ready next month.

The pro-Kurdish opposition HDP filed an appeal on Wednesday for an annulment on the grounds there had been widespread violations, a day after a similar move by the main opposition CHP.

Accusations of voting irregularities have been bolstered by unverified videos and pictures on social media purporting to show ballot box stuffing, "no" votes being thrown away, and election officials stamping ballots with "yes" votes. "It is clear that the country can not join the European Union with a constitution that doesn't respect the separation of powers and has no checks and balances", she said in a statement.

The opposition has been particularly incensed by a last-minute move from the YSK to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp. Meanwhile, government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said: "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this".

The EU urges Turkish leaders to seek a "broad national consensus" and investigate the election irregularities reported by worldwide observers, the European Commission said on Tuesday (19 April).

Turkey's Supreme Electoral Council rejected petitions from three political parties to annul the April 16 constitutional referendum because of its illegality, Anadolu Agency reported.

"It is the reddest of the red lines", said European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.

The US leader telephoned Recep Tayyip Erdogan to offer "friendship" and to promise "close cooperation" in future, ignoring concerns raised by worldwide monitors.

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