President Muhammadu Buhari has towed the line of US President Donald Trump in congrtulating the people and government of Turkey on the successful conclusion of the country’s referendum on Monday.
The historic referendum centralizes power in the hands of President Erdogan but the victory has been tainted with allegations of fraud.
Opposition parties are challenging the vote, which saw 51.4 percent of Turks approve the measures, and international monitors have disputed its fairness.
According to unofficial results, the margin of victory for the package of constitutional changes was just shy of 1.3 million ballots.
As Erdogan insists he won’t tolerate criticism of the outcome, his opponents are demanding a recount or outright annulment, leaving concerns about the integrity of the vote.
But a statement by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, states that “President Buhari congratulates Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for the foresight and maturity of leading his people to the polls to decide on the future of leadership for the country that will further deepen peace and stability.
“The President believes the referendum showcases the democratic credentials of the country and reflects a willingness of the Turkish people to live together and jointly pursue a better future”
The new system will, among other changes:
- Abolish the post of prime minister and transfer executive power to the president.
- Allow the newly empowered president to issue decrees and appoint many judges and officials responsible for scrutinizing his decisions.
- Limit the president to two five-year terms, but give the option of running for a third term if Parliament truncates the second one by calling for early elections.
- Allow the president to order disciplinary inquiries into any of Turkey’s 3.5 million civil servants, according to an analysis by the head of the Turkish Bar Association.