Erdogan Wins, Stays in Power As Turkey's President

Erdogan Wins, Stays in Power As Turkey's President

Erdogan Wins, Stays in Power As Turkey's President

Spokesman Bulent Tezcan of the Republican People's Party criticised Turkey's state-run news agency for reporting that Mr Erdogan has won enough to avoid a run-off and accused the agency of distorting the results.

Erdogan defeated his nearest rival Muharrem Ince with an "absolute majority" of more than half the vote without needing a second round, said the chief of Turkey's election authority, Sadi Guven.

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. The vote will complete Turkey's transition from a parliamentary to a new executive presidential system, a move approved in a referendum previous year. If the HDP exceeds the 10 percent threshold of votes needed to enter parliament, it will be harder for the AKP to get a majority.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) scored below the parliamentary average of 17.67 percent, with just 19 female deputies out of 146, amounting to a mere 13 percent.

"Erdogan "won" reelection in Turkey this weekend only by decimating the opposition through arrests, violence and squashing freedom of the press", Schiff wrote on Twitter.

"The opposition parties ran surprisingly strong, energetic and competitive campaigns", Amanda Sloat, an Obama administration official who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the New York Times.

But the CHP expressed unease over the conduct of the count, accusing Anadolu of being overly hasty in publishing results that favoured Erdogan.

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Turnout in the presidential election was nearly 88 percent, according to the figures published by Anadolu.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reelected president and his ruling party retained power Sunday although the opposition claimed voter fraud.

A worker slices meat as a reflection of a portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen in the window of a Turkish restaurant in Istanbul's Taksim Square on June 20, 2018. "I hope nobody will damage democracy by casting a shadow on this election and its results to hide their failure".

Erdogan, 64, is seeking re-election for a five-year term with hugely increased powers under the new system, which he insists will bring prosperity and stability to Turkey, especially after a failed coup attempt in 2016 that has left the country under a state of emergency.

Turkey has been under emergency rule, which restricts some personal freedoms and allows the government to bypass parliament with emergency decrees, for almost two years following an attempted military coup in July 2016.

Erdogan has also campaigned against the backdrop of increasing economic woes, including high inflation and a currency that has sometimes been in free-fall.

Over 56 million eligible voters were for the first time casting ballots in both elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to extend his 15 year grip on power.

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