Turkey's Erdogan wins presidential election

Turkey's Erdogan wins presidential election

Turkey's Erdogan wins presidential election

Supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gather in front of the Huber Presidential Palace where he delivered a victory speech.

The election commission later confirmed Erdogan the victor, and also said Erdogan's Justice and development Party (AKP) and its allied Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had retained their parliamentary majority.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking on extensive new executive powers following his outright election victory in Sunday's poll.

"President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the absolute majority of all valid votes", the head of the Supreme Election Committee (YSK) Sadi Guven told reporters in Ankara, without giving further details or numbers after Sunday's polls.

State media also reported on Sunday that Erdogan's AK Party holds 43 percent, while the opposition party holds 23 percent of the vote, with 96 percent of the total vote counted.

Erdogan's closest contender, Muharrem Ince of the secular opposition Republican People's Party, won 30.7 per cent support. He also urged YSK members to "do your job the right way", adding he believed the results would be "very good".

There are ongoing debates about whether the election was "free", amid reports of ballot stuffing and vote rigging.

It is clear from the results that Turkey remains a deeply polarized society. "Turkey has no moment to waste, we know that", he added.

After being declared the victor, Erdogan on June 25 said he would act more decisively against terrorist organizations and would liberate more territory in Syria to allow "our guests" to go home safely, referring to the thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the bloody seven-year civil war in the Middle East country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Mr Erdogan on his win, sending a congratulatory telegram.

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But even as Ince sought to woo working-class voters from Erdogan and his party, the president remained widely popular.

Ince also complained that it was an unfair election but accepted Erdogan's victory during a news conference Monday.

But celebrations were already beginning outside Erdogan's residence in Istanbul and AKP headquarters in Ankara, with crowds of flag-waving supporters, AFP correspondents said.

Erdogan's AKP fell short of winning a parliamentary majority but a better-than-expected performance by its nationalist ally should allow the party to control the 600-seat legislature.

Under the new presidential system, the prime minister's position no longer exists and executive powers are given to the president, who rules with limited checks and balances. They have said election law changes and fraud allegations in the 2017 referendum raise fears about the fairness of Sunday's elections.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in particular in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa. "Turkey has departed from democratic values and Turkey has broken its ties with the parliamentary system which it had".

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. There are several problems to face: the decline of the Turkish lira, a massive 12 per cent rate of inflation and the perception that Erdogan is curtailing the central bank's independence.

"There is no stopping for us until we bring Turkey, which we saved from plotters, coupists and political and economic hit men, street gangs and terrorist organizations, to among the top 10 economies in the world", he said.

Luxembourg's foreign minister said Mr Erdogan is now "all-powerful" and it will be up to him whether Turkey's relations with the European Union improve.

Following the failed coup, Turkey has been under a state of emergency for almost two years and has seen a widespread crackdown on alleged supporters of Gulen.

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