Turkey's Erdogan claims victory in presidential election

Turkey's Erdogan claims victory in presidential election

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in the country's presidential election on Sunday, citing unofficial election results.

With almost 90 per cent of the country's ballot boxes counted, according to Anadolu, Erdogan was at 53.3 per cent of the vote, with his main rival Muharrem Ince at 30.4 per cent.

Erdogan remains the favourite to hold on to the presidency - even if he needs a second round on July 8 - but the outcome is likely to be much tighter than he expected when calling the snap polls one-and-a-half years ahead of schedule.

In the parliamentary contest, the AK Party had 53.03 per cent, based on 10.25 per cent of votes counted, the broadcasters said.

Another person who could siphon of votes from Erdogan is the only female candidate, Meral Aksener of the lyi, the Good Party. Opposition candidates vowed to return Turkey to a parliamentary democracy with strong checks and balances and have decried what they call Erdogan's "one-man rule".

In a tweet earlier in the evening, he said only 37 percent of ballot boxes had actually been counted, as opposed to the more than almost 90 percent Anadolu was reporting at the time.

Ince sent a message on Twitter in response to the alleged violence, urging his supporters not to lose hope in the face of the security issues and to cast their votes.

Selahattin Demirtas, a jailed Turkish-Kurdish politician, is also a candidate for the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party's (HDP).

A woman votes at a polling station in a school during elections in Istanbul, Turkey, June 24, 2018.

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In a phone call, Aliyev said Turkey has grown under Erdogan's leadership, adding that Turkey's economy has scored great successes and Ankara has cemented its position internationally.

In the 2017 referendum which realized a change to the executive presidential system, "no" votes had passed the "yes" votes by a margin of over two points.

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

The CHP said it had recorded violations in particular in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.

Though he argued his new elite presidency will better enable him to tackle the nation's economic problems such as the plummet of the Lira and Kurdish rebels in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan has declared himself an "enemy of interest rates", raising fears he will pressure the central bank to cut borrowing costs after the election despite double-digit inflation.

He brought forward the elections from November 2019, but he reckoned without Ince, a former physics teacher and veteran CHP lawmaker, whose feisty performance at campaign rallies has galvanized Turkey's long-demoralized and divided opposition.

It limits some freedoms and allows the government to bypass parliament with decrees, although Erdogan says he will soon lift the measure. Erdogan accused his late ally and now nemesis, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, of masterminding the coup.

Although Erdogan dominated airtime on a pliant mainstream media, Ince finished his campaign with eye-catching mass rallies, including a mega meeting in Istanbul on Saturday attended by hundreds of thousands.

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