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Turkey electoral board rejects request to annul referendum

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Russian President Vladimir Putin today congratulated Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a referendum on enhancing his powers, the Kremlin and Turkish state media said.

"It is clear that the High Electoral Board is not receiving its power from the people, the law or the constitution, but rather from a specific centre, a specific political authority", Kilicdaroglu told his party's lawmakers in Ankara Tuesday.

The move had prevented proper records being kept and could have affected the results, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) - known as a body opposed to the current Ankara government - said, adding in a statement: "With this illegal decision, ballot box councils [namely, officials at polling stations] were misled into believing that the use of unstamped ballots was appropriate".

Hundreds of people lined up outside election board offices in Ankara and Istanbul to submit petitions requesting the board reverse its pronouncement.

United States President Donald Trump called Mr Erdogan on Monday to congratulate him on his victory.

"Efforts to cast a shadow on the result of the vote by spreading rumours of fraud are futile and in vain", Yildirim said.

Turkey's PM Binali Yildirim has called on the country's opposition to respect the outcome of the April 16 referendum.

"They have a right to have elections and their people participated in that", Spicer said.

In Istanbul, thousands of "no" supporters continued their demonstrations Tuesday, carrying banners that said "Don't give in" and chanting "Thief, Murderer, Erdogan!"

To the dismay of opposition parties and "No" supporters, the YSK made a last-minute decision on Sunday to accept ballot papers in envelopes without an official stamp.

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"It is more important now to maintain the dialogue and to keep communication channels open", he said, adding that dialogue with Ankara had been hard in recent months.

The European Union says that if Turkey moves to reinstate the death penalty it would dash any hope that it could join the bloc.

The referendum was widely seen as a plebiscite on Erdogan, who has led his country through more than a decade of economic growth and development, first as prime minister and then as president.

He said that the death penalty is more than a red line.

Global election observers and opposition parties have reported numerous voting irregularities during the vote which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won by a narrow margin.

The brief statement - issued on Monday evening - underlines the USA need for Turkey's support for the Trump administration's new policy of increasing pressure on the Syrian government, as there's only one reference to the April 16 referendum in Turkey and three to the crisis in Syria.

Relations have further soured since Erdogan accused the German and Dutch governments of acting like Nazis after they banned referendum campaign rallies by Turkish officials.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) had on Tuesday asked that the poll be scrapped over alleged violations.

On Monday, worldwide election monitors delivered a scathing verdict on the conduct of the referendum.

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