Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

White House: Trump congratulates Erdogan after disputed win

White House: Trump congratulates Erdogan after disputed win

The preliminary results among Turks living in the country showed 51.18 percent voting in favor and 48.82 against constitutional reforms for the creation of a presidential system of government.

The new system would dispense with the office of prime minister and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the president, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers.

The referendum was held Sunday with a state of emergency still in place, imposed after the attempted coup in July.

Other world leaders have struck a different tone to Trump after the vote in Turkey, in response to preliminary findings from global bodies which described the referendum as taking place "on an unlevel playing field". Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein were overwhelmingly reelected.

Merkel and Gabriel said that Turkey - as an OSCE member and European Union candidate country - needs to consider these concerns.

We will have to wait and see the full ramifications of these amendments both on Turkey and indirectly on the United States.

Turkey's president has rejected global monitors' criticism of the referendum that approved expanded presidential powers Sunday, saying the vote was the "most democratic election" seen in any Western country.

Merkel said Berlin expects Ankara will now "seek respectful dialogue with all political and social forces in the country". "In addition, it will grant him a vast number of additional powers that now belong to other state institutions, without introducing the necessary checks and balances required to safeguard against a further authoritarian turn".

The French government said it would "follow with great care" the worldwide monitors' final report in coming weeks, particularly in relation to a reported last-minute change of rules by the electoral boards to allow ballots that had not been officially stamped.

However, asked about Erdoğan's suggestion in his victory speech that he could hold a referendum on reintroducing the death penalty, the commission spokesman described it as "the reddest of red lines" with regard to Turkey's decade-long attempt to join the bloc. The two leaders also discussed Turkey's support of the US response to a Syrian chemical weapons attack and efforts to counter the Islamic State group, according to the White House statement on their phone call Monday.

The US State Department said it had taken note of the European monitors' concerns and looked forward to a final report, urging the Turkish government to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, however they voted.

Joy-Ann Reid reports on the questions about the legitimacy of a Turkish referendum election and the authoritarian power grab seen in Recep Tayyip Erdogan's win, none of which stood in the way of Donald Trump making a congratulatory phone call. This would allow Erdogan to rejoin the governing AKP he co-founded, or to lead it.

He said the CHP would submit complaints to municipal election authorities and the YSK and, depending on the result of those appeals, would go to Turkey's constitutional court, the European Human Court of Rights and any other relevant authority.

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