Erdogan declares victory in Turkish presidential poll

Jun 26, 2018, 03:04
Erdogan declares victory in Turkish presidential poll

President of Turkey and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) greets the crowd from the balcony of the ruling AK Party's headquarters following his election success in presidential and parliamentary elections in Ankara, Turkey on June 25, 2018.

Polls show Erdogan falling short of a first-round victory in the presidential race but he would be expected to win a run-off on July 8, while his AK Party could lose its parliamentary majority, possibly heralding increased tensions between president and parliament.

Mr Erdogan was declared Turkey's president by electoral board chairman Sadi Guven, who said he won a majority based on 99.9 percent of counted votes.

However, an opposition election platform which is doing its own vote tally based on results gathered by its observers at polling stations gave Erdogan only 43.5 percent and Ince 33.9 percent, based on almost 12 percent of overall votes cast.

Still, Erdogan's main challenger, Muharrem Ince, and his secular-left People's Republican Party, or CHP, urged observers to stay at the country's ballot boxes to ensure votes were counted fairly.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his alliance at the parliament won in Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, state-run Anadolu Agency announced.

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After casting his ballot in his jail in the northwestern region of Edirne, Demirtas wrote on Twitter: "I wish that everyone uses their vote for the sake of the future and democracy of the country".

Turkish voters re-elected Erdoğan to another term in office on Sunday in elections whose outcome is likely to shape the country for years or even decades to come. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government dominated the media, abused access to all government and municipal resources, and benefited from a state of emergency in suppressing the opposition campaign.

Erdogan, the most popular but also divisive leader in modern Turkish history, argues the new powers will better enable him to tackle the nation's economic problems - the lira has lost 20 percent against the dollar this year - and crush Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey and in neighboring Iraq and Syria.

In his victory speech to supporters early on Monday morning, Mr Erdogan vowed to bring the new presidential system into being "rapidly".

In an address to thousands of supporters in Ankara, Erdogan said that democracy was the victor and that Turkey was "an example for the rest of the world", The Guardian reported.

As president, Erdogan himself can appoint ministers and vice presidents, approve declarations, propose a budget and decide on security policies, all without parliamentary approval.

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The shift will give Erdogan more power in his next term, abolishing the prime minister's post, and eliminating numerous checks and balances created to help parliament protect against the misuse of presidential powers. "Yes, they did. But did they steal 10 million votes? No".

Erdogan counters that view, saying "Turkey is staging a democratic revolution".

Erdogan has been a strong supporter of Hamas.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa. That, coupled with high inflation rates and fears that the central bank's independence will be further reduced, has left worldwide investors uneasy after Erdogan's victory.

The CHP's presidential candidate Ince also accused election reports from the Anadolu Agency of "manipulation".

Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, said Monday it was now up to Erdogan to decide whether Turkey's relations with the European Union will improve.

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He survived a coup in 2016 but consequently detained tens of thousands of political opponents. More than 110,000 government workers have also been dismissed under a state of emergency after the coup.

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