Erdogan Wins Another Term as Turkey's President

26 June, 2018, 04:16 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • In the June 24 elections 56.39 million Turkish citizens are voting in total – 53.34 million in Turkey and 3.05 million abroad

According to state broadcaster TRT, voter turnout in the presidential election was 86.82%, while participation in the parliamentary vote was 87%.

The vote will complete Turkey's transition from a parliamentary to a new executive presidential system, a move approved in a referendum a year ago.

When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called early elections two months ago, he seemed assured of victory.

The HDP's presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, campaigned from a prison cell, where he is detained on terrorism charges he denies.

There are already signs of defections, Sencar said, noting that some of them had voted against Erdogan in last year's referendum to expand the powers of the presidency, which passed only narrowly.

On the other side of the Bosphorus, the waterway bisecting Istanbul and separating Europe from Asia, Erdogan dismissed fears of any ballot-rigging on Sunday, saying the polls would be fair and safe.

On Saturday police said at least one million people had turned out in Istanbul's Maltepe district to hear Ince promise to reverse - if he wins the presidency - what he sees as Turkey's turn towards more authoritarian rule under Erdogan.

Earlier on Monday, Sadi Guven, head of Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK), said that with 99.2 percent of ballot boxes opened, Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.5 percent of the vote, while his top rival Muharrem Ince lagged behind at 30.6 percent. A prominent journalist said, however, that he received a message from the politician acknowledging Erdogan's victory.




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Thousands of jubilant supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, also spilled into the streets of the predominantly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir after unofficial results from Anadolu showed the party surpassing the 10 per cent threshold and coming in third with 11.5 per cent of the parliamentary vote.

Erdogan also claimed the AKP, and its allied Nationalist Movement Party, the MHP, had retained their control of parliament.

But the leading opposition party said it believes the results for the presidential elections are incomplete and may go to a second round.

Turkey is holding held high-stakes presidential and parliamentary elections that could consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hold on power or curtail his vast political ambitions.

An unexpectedly strong showing by the AK Party's alliance partner, the nationalist MHP, could translate into a stable parliamentary majority Mr. Erdogan seeks to govern freely. Under the system, the office of the prime minister is eliminated and executive powers are transferred to the president, who can rule with limited checks and balances. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member state and entrench one-man rule. But for Erdogan and his supporters, the new constitution is needed to secure economic growth and address security threats ranging from Kurdish insurgents to pro-coup opponents, around 40,000 of whom have been arrested and 120,000 fired from their jobs since the attempted coup.

"Even though we could not reach out goal in parliament, God willing we will be working to solve that with all our efforts in the People's Alliance", Erdogan said.

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