YSK gives all clear for Sunday's vote
The Supreme Election Board (YSK) decided on Wednesday that a referendum scheduled for Oct. 21 should not be postponed despite a law passed in Parliament revising an article of the constitutional amendment package that is the subject of the public ballot.
The YSK was discussing whether a change made to the referendum text that deletes provisional Article 2 of the amendment package, removing the reference to the election of the "11th president," would be a good enough reason to call off the vote altogether.
YSK Chairman Muammer Aydın announced Wednesday afternoon after a meeting of the board that the referendum would be held as planned.
Former deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group Salih Kapusuz was one of the first politicians to comment on the YSK decision.
Saying that the YSK approval to go on with the public vote was “rightful and proper,” Kapusuz said the YSK had done the right thing. Kapusuz said the change in the text actually made it easer to hold the referendum, since it removes the risks of challenging the position of Abdullah Gül, who was elected Turkey’s 11th president in August.
However, some votes for the referendum have already been cast at Customs gates by citizens living abroad, a major reason why the YSK had to reconsider whether the public vote scheduled for Sunday should continue at all.
Burhan Kuzu, who heads Parliament’s Constitutional Commission, also expressed his belief that the YSK decision was right. “We were expecting the YSK to issue a different ruling; however, common sense prevailed and so the right decision has been made. May it be for the best of the country,” said Kuzu.
However, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Cevdet Sevi did not agree. “It is wrong, and it is outside the law. This decision will give way to a new discussion on legality. We would have expected the YSK to take up the issue with some seriousness. What a shame. People have been voting at border gates for a month. They [the YSK] have become an instrument for the purposes of opportunistic politicians who are most primitive and most far from having absorbed democracy.”
On Monday, CHP leader Deniz Baykal had called on the YSK to stop the referendum process at a meeting of his party’s parliamentary group.
Source : ALİ ASLAN KILIÇ ANKARA To day`s Zaman
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