Turkey election: Erdogan wins second term as president

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Ankara, June 25 (IANS) Turkey’s long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won the country’s presidential poll in the first round, the election authority chief has said.

Sadi Guven said the president “received the absolute majority of all valid votes”, but gave no further details, BBC reported on Monday.

Turkish media reports put Erdogan on 53 per cent with 99 per cent of votes counted, and his closest rival Muharrem Ince on 31 per cent.

The opposition is yet to officially concede but said it would continue its democratic fight “whatever the result”.

It had earlier cast doubt on results being broadcast by state media. Final results will be announced on Friday.

Erdogan said the governing alliance of his AK Party had secured a majority in parliament.

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“Turkey has given a lesson in democracy to the entire world,” he said.

Under Turkey’s new constitution, due to come into force after the election, the president will hold considerable power.

Some critics argue the enhanced role will see too much power accumulated in one person’s hands, and that Turkey lacks the checks and balances of other executive presidencies such as France or the US.

With 96 per cent of the votes for parliament counted, the president’s AK Party leads with 42 per cent of the votes, Anadolu news agency reports. The main opposition CHP is on 23 per cent.

Turkey’s electoral board confirmed that the pro-Kurdish HDP has reached the 10 per cent threshold needed to enter parliament. Before the vote, analysts said this might make it harder for Erdogan’s party and its ally the MHP to reach a majority, although currently they are on course to do so.

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Voter turnout was high, at almost 87 per cent.

“I hope nobody will try to cast a shadow on the results,” Erdogan said.

There are reports that CHP presidential candidate Ince has admitted defeat in a message to a journalist, though this has not been confirmed.

–IANS

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