Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Turkey: AK Party urges respect for election results

Turkey: AK Party urges respect for election results

Unofficial results from Turkey's presidential election show incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a commanding lead.

She voted for the pro-Kurdish, left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and their presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas - who campaigned from prison after being jailed on terrorism charges his supporters say are bogus - in the hope that they could pass the 10 percent threshold to enter parliament.

If Mr Erdogan wins more than 50% of the overall vote, he will be declared the victor and avoid the need for a second round of voting.

Meanwhile, Erdogan's ruling AK Party had 45.18 percent and its Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) ally had 11.78 percent in Turkey's parliamentary elections, with 61.1 percent of votes counted, according to CNN Turk and other local broadcasters.

However, the first results had been expected to give Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted party a strong lead and it is expected to shorten as more votes are tallied across the nation of 81 million people.

Results being compiled by the Fair Election Platform, formed by opposition parties, also pointed to Erdogan winning the presidency in the first round with about 53 percent.

It has condemned what it calls Mr Erdogan's "one-man rule". They have said election law changes and fraud allegations in the 2017 referendum raise fears about the fairness of Sunday's elections.

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Erdogan, the most popular but also divisive leader in modern Turkish history, moved the elections forward from November 2019, arguing the new powers would better enable him to tackle the nation's mounting economic problems - the lira has lost 20 percent against the dollar this year - and deal with Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey and in neighbouring Iraq and Syria. There were no exit polls and the first results were expected later in the evening.

Unal said the security of not only AK Party votes but votes for all political parties was "our honor".

After leaving the polling station, he told reporters that Turkey would rise "above the level of contemporary civilizations" with the introduction of the presidential system.

However, if the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) crosses the 10 per cent hurdle, the AKP alliance may lose its absolute majority in parliament. Turnout was good, President Erdogan said, as is customary in Turkey.

The president had for the last two years ruled under a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the 2016 failed coup, with tens of thousands arrested in an unprecedented crackdown, which cranked up tensions with the West.

The president's critics, including the European Union which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent.

Mr Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is hoping to retain its majority in parliament. Both Erdogan and Ince have said they will lift the state of emergency as president.

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