Erdogan wins Turkey’s presidential poll in first round: election authority

Erdogan wins Turkey’s presidential poll in first round: election authority

Early partial results in Turkey's elections show incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the lead, with challenger Muharrem Ince in second place.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was proclaimed the victor early Monday of a landmark election that ushers in a government system granting the president sweeping new powers and which critics say will cement what they call a one-man rule.

Erdogan, who has led Turkey for the past 15 years, bagged 52.5% of the vote, while the runner-up in the contest, Muharrem Ince, received 30.8% and the only female candidate, Meral Aksener, 7.4%, worldwide media reported.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed victory in Turkey's presidential election, but the opposition called the announcement premature, as not all ballots had yet been counted.

Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for 15 years, first as prime minister and since 2014 as president, praised the executive presidency that comes into force after the election.

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, or HDP, was edging past the 10 percent threshold to enter parliament, with 10.15 percent.

Today's polls could either consolidate Erdogan's hold on power or curtail his vast political ambitions. Mr Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003, is seeking a new five-year term with vastly increased powers under a new system and his ruling party is hoping to retain its majority in parliament.

Ince vowed to spend the night at the headquarters of Turkey's election authority in Ankara to ensure a fair count and urged supporters to stay in polling stations until the final vote was counted.

Turkey remains under a state of emergency imposed in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016.




Erdogan also declared victory for the People's Alliance, an electoral coalition between his ruling Justice and Development Party and the small Nationalist Movement Party, saying they had a "parliamentary majority" in the 600-member assembly.

With 96 percent of votes counted in the presidential race, Erdogan had 53 percent, comfortably ahead of Ince on 31 percent, broadcasters said.

Bulent Tezcan, a spokesman for Ince's CHP, said party observers had been kept away from polling stations in the southeastern Sanliurfa Province with "blows, threats and attacks".

Celebrations erupted in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, with people letting off fireworks into the sky, AFP correspondents said.

"The AK Party got around 42 percent of the votes, while Erdogan got around 52 percent".

"It's one thing to be a physics teacher, it's another thing to run a country", Mr Erdogan said.

Mat Nashed, reporting for The National from Diyarbakir, says there is heavy security presence around each school that has turned into a polling station.

In Germany, where more than 1.4 million eligible Turkish voters live, Erdoğan had garnered 65.4 percent of the vote.

Kurds make up about 18 percent of Turkey's 78 million people, mostly in eastern regions, and are expected to play a key role in deciding the outcome of the parliamentary elections. But he now faces a major challenge from the opposition.

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