Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has celebrated unofficial results in a referendum to hand him sweeping powers.
Speaking to reporters he said the country had made a ‘historic decision’ backing an executive presidential system. He added that the Yes camp secured 25 million votes, 1.3 million ahead of No.
Wasting no time, Erdogan said a referendum on the death penalty could go ahead ‘if necessary’.
While supporters of Erdogan’s party celebrated, analysts noted that the slim lead could narrow further as more ballots are counted.
The Head of the Electoral Board said the Yes vote won, with final results to be announced in 11-12 days.
In the largest city Istanbul, and the capital Ankara a majority voted No. Earlier the deputy prime minister admitted the Yes had not won as many votes as hoped for.
Whatever the outcome, the main opposition parties said they would demand a recount, protesting a last-minute decision by the Electoral Board to allow unstamped ballots as valid votes.