Election Universe

High turnout marks Turkish plebiscite

High turnout marks Turkish plebiscite
April 17 2017, 12:22

Eighty six per cent of the 58 million registered Turkish voters turned up in polling precincts to decide whether or not to adopt 18 proposed amendments in the Constitution.

While Turkish elections regularly draw good turnout, the 2017 polls elicited one of the biggest voter participation in recent history.

Early count has “Yes” winning with 51.36% of the votes against “No” which has 48.64%. Although the official results would not be proclaimed in two weeks, observers say that the 1.5million margin is insurmountable with over 99% of the votes already counted.

The opposition, however, is contesting 37 per cent of the ballot boxes over suspicion of vote tampering. Videos have surfaced which seem to show people voting outside of stations and voters submitting multiple ballots. One such video shows what seems to be a voter coming out of  his booth and dropping five envelopes into the ballot box.

The amendments to the Constitution are viewed by observers as granting sweeping powers to the incumbent president, which would allow him to stay in office until 2029 with almost no checks and balances.