Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Erdogan declares victory in Turkish presidential poll

Erdogan declares victory in Turkish presidential poll

The initial official results of the Turkish presidential and parliamentary election, held on Sunday, have emerged, signaling an expected win for the incumbent president and his party.

Over 56 million eligible voters can for the first time cast ballots simultaneously in the parliamentary and presidential elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Critics say it will further erode democracy in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member state and entrench one-man rule.

Turkish state news agency Anadolu, the only media distributing election results, reported that the Mr Erdogan easily claimed 52.7 per cent of the vote with more than 96 per cent of the ballots counted.

Speaking to reporters in front of the High Electoral Board (YSK), Ince warned members of the YSK to "do your job the right way" and not leave their stations without signed results.

With the vast power he has amassed during his 15-year run as prime minister and then president, Erdoğan was able to direct the machinery of the state to effectively campaign for him.

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Women dance under election banners of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, in the mainly-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.

On Saturday police said at least one million people had turned out in Istanbul's Maltepe district to hear Ince promise to reverse - if he wins the presidency - what he sees as Turkey's turn towards more authoritarian rule under Erdogan.

He also declared victory for the People's Alliance, which comprises his AKP party and the smaller Nationalist Movement Party.

Erdogan, whose mastery of political rhetoric is acknowledged even by critics, has won a dozen elections but is now fighting against the backdrop of increasing economic woes.

Erdogan has overseen historic change in Turkey since his Islamic-rooted ruling party first came to power in 2002 after years of secular domination.

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

In another incident, a mass brawl broke out when scours of citizens voted in bulk at polling station in Suruc.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his grandchildren, casts his ballot at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey June 24, 2018. Managing to get into parliament would be a significant for HDP, since nine of its lawmakers, including Demirtas, and thousands of party members were jailed during the campaign.

The leader of the main opposition CHP party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said after voting in Ankara that his party had received complaints of voting irregularities in the southeast.

Opposition officials cried foul as soon as results began coming in, with the state-run Anadolu Agency announcing preliminary results more than two hours earlier than expected and opening with a massive lead for President Erdoğan and his party's alliance in parliament. Critics say it would allow Erdogan to effectively rule by fiat, while curbing independent checks on his power.

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Erdogan, 64, insisted before the election that the expanded powers - which include the authority to impose states of emergency and to issue decrees - would bring prosperity and stability to Turkey, especially after a failed military coup attempt in 2016.

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