Turkey: Presidency Vote Goes To Run-Off As Outright Win Eludes Erdogan


By Hamdi Firat Buyuk

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received 49.4 per cent of the votes in Sunday’s presidential polls and his main rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu got 44.9 per cent, according to electoral results announced on Monday, setting the scene for a run-off contest on May 28.

The third candidate, nationalist Sinan Ogan, received a surprising 5.2 per cent of the votes.

Ahmet Yener, the president of the Turkish Supreme Election Council, YSK said that 99 per cent of the total votes have now been officially counted.

“There are only 27 ballot boxes to be counted in the country,” Yener said.

In the simultaneous parliamentary polls, Erdogan’s People’s Alliance received 49.4 per cent of the total vote according to the YSK, securing a comfortable majority in parliament with 321 seats of the 600 seats.

“We are way ahead according to the first results,” Erdogan told thousands of his supporters early on Tuesday morning at his party headquarters in Ankara.

Kilicdaroglu’s Nation Alliance initially objected to the semi-official results published by the state-led Anadolu Agency but on Monday morning accepted that the presidential race will go to a second round.

Despite of the fact that President Erdogan has the obvious advantage, Kilicdaroglu expressed confidence.

“We will win in the second round. Let everyone know this,” he told a press conference in Ankara on Tuesday.

Kilicdaroglu and his Nation Alliance received fewer votes than expected, disappointing opposition supporters.

The Nation Alliance took 35.1 per cent of the votes, which represents 213 seats in parliament. The third major alliance, the socialist Labour and Freedom Alliance, was on 10.5 per cent, or 66 seats.

The kingmaker role goes to the Ogan from ultra-nationalist and anti-migrant ATA Alliance.

“We will play our part. We will announce our roadmap in the coming days,” Ogan told reporters in Ankara on Tuesday.

Sunday’s elections had been seen as the biggest challenge yet to Erdogan’s 21-year grip on power, and turnout was high at 88 per cent.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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