Date :Monday, June 25th, 2018 | Time : 18:20 |ID: 65008 | Print

Erdogan declared winner as Turkey’s first executive president in historic polls

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SHAFAQNA – Recep Tayyip Erdogan becomes elected as Turkey‘s first executive president in twin presidential and parliamentary polls, held for the first time on the same day.

With 97.7 percent of ballots counted, Erdogan received on Sunday more than half the votes required to secure an outright victory, Sadi Guven, the head of the Supreme Election Committee (YSK), told reporters in the capital, Ankara.

Earlier, state-run Anadolu news agency had reported that Erdogan’s share of the vote stood at 52.5 percent.

Erdogan’s closest rival, Muharrem Ince, of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), received 30.8 percent of the votes.

He was followed by Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party (HDP), at 8.1 percent and debutante right-wing IYI (Good) Party’s Meral Aksener, at 7.4 percent.

All three major opposition parties accused Anadolu of manipulating the results and releasing them selectively, a claim dismissed by the government.

Official results are to be announced in a few days, Al Jazeera reported.

Earlier on Sunday night, the country’s electoral board said the incumbent had won with 97.7% of votes counted. Even before this declaration, Erdoğan seemed sure of the result.

“Our people have given us the job of carrying out the presidential and executive posts,” Erdoğan said on Sunday night, even while ballots were still being tallied. “I hope nobody will damage democracy by casting a shadow on this election and its results to hide their failure.”

The main opposition party did not immediately concede defeat, but after initially saying Erdoğan would fall well short of a first-round victory, it later said it would continue its democratic struggle “whatever the result”, The Guardian reported.

The AK Party joined forces with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to create the People’s Alliance for the polls. Erdogan was the bloc’s joint presidential candidate.

“The AK Party got around 42 percent of the votes, while Erdogan got around 52 percent. That 10 percent apparently came from his ally, MHP,” Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish columnist and analyst, told Al Jazeera.

The results show that the AK Party-MHP alliance will have to continue for Erdogan to carry out his executive presidency comfortably,” he said.

“This makes the MHP an important party for the AK Party and Erdogan,” added Akyol. “It gives it a lot of power”.

Huge crowds gathered to celebrate Erdoğan’s victory and hear his speech from the party headquarters in Ankara.

The voting marked the first time Turkish voters cast their ballots in simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, in line with the constitutional changes approved in a referendum last year that will transform the country’s parliamentary system to an executive presidential one.

On the parliamentary front, Erdogan’s AK Party got 42.4 percent of the votes, while its far-right MHP secured 11.2 percent.

The two parties are predicted to claim 293 and 49 seats in the 600-member parliament respectively, with almost all of the ballot boxes opened. Erdogan was their joint presidential candidate.

A majority of 360 votes in parliament are required to take a constitutional change to referendum in the new executive presidential system.

The opposition CHP and IYI parties, along with the ultraconservative Felicity Party (SP), formed the diverse Nation Alliance to challenge Erdogan in the parliamentary polls.

According to Anadolu, the CHP acquired 22.7 percent of the ballots, while its ally, IYI Party got 10.1 percent. They are expected to have 146 and 45 seats in parliament.

The pro-Kurdish HDP is set to secure 66 seats after receiving 11.1 percent, Al Jazeera reported.

The winner of the presidential race is set to assume extraordinary new powers narrowly approved in a referendum last year that was marred by allegations of fraud. These include complete control of the cabinet and the power to appoint senior judges and officials, including unelected vice-presidents. The president will also have the power to issue decrees with the force of law.

Those powers will allow the victor to transform Turkey’s political scene for years and possibly decades to come, governing until 2028 if he wins re-election, Guardian reported.

The results, if they stand, will be a disappointment to the opposition, which had hoped to push Erdoğan into a second-round runoff against İnce, and to wrest control of the legislature from the AKP.


Read more from Shafaqna:

Turkey elections: Will Erdogan era continue?

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