Turkish PM declares victory in referendum

Added On April 17, 2017

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has declared victory in a historic referendum whose outcome will grant the presidency more power.
The president says the proposed constitutional changes were accepted in the referendum, paying the way for the country to introduce the presidential system.
Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported Sunday that from 99 percent of the counted votes, the 'Yes' campaign had won 51.35 percent. The 'No' vote had the lower figure of 48.65 percent.
More than 86 percent of the 55 million eligble Turkish voters cast their vote on Sunday. The figure included 1.3 million voters living abroad.
The referendum voted on a move to abolish the office of the prime minister and hand all executive power to the president. The change would also limit parliament's role.
The proposal was rejected by main opposition, the Republican People's Party, and the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party.
They said the proposed amendments contravened the principle of separation of powers in parliamentary democracy.
Republican People's Party is calling for a recount after the initial result was announced, on the grounds of voting irregularities.
But the ruling party is defending the outcoming, arguing the existing administrative system is inefficient. 
Turkey will not implement the new presidential system until 2019, when Erdogan's current term ends and fresh parliamentary elections are held.
The European Commission has said the close result meant Turkey should seek "the broadest national consensus" to implement the vote.