Erdogan Wins, Stays in Power As Turkey's President

Erdogan expects Turkey’s development level to reach the levels of Russia, US

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a new mandate in presidential elections in the first round of voting by winning more than half of the votes, the chief of Turkey's election authority said on Monday.

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate after the close of voting for the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections in Istanbul.

Unofficial results show put Erdogan in the lead with over 95 percent of votes counted.

But both these goals are in doubt in the face of an energetic campaign by the secular Republican People s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem Ince, who has rivalled Erdogan s charisma and crowd-pulling on the campaign trail, and a strong opposition alliance in the legislative polls.

The AKP's results are expected to be lower than they were in the 2015 election, when the party received almost 50 percent, achieving a comfortable majority in the parliament.

Mr Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, was also hoping to retain its majority in parliament.

Mr Ince accused Anadolu of "manipulation" of the results.

Those powers will allow the victor to transform Turkey's political scene for years and possibly decades to come, governing until 2028 if they win re-election. If the HDP manages to get into parliament, it could reduce the number of seats Erdogan's alliance will hold, threatening his parliamentary majority.

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.




In the parliamentary contest, the Islamist-rooted AK Party had 43 percent and its MHP ally 11 percent, based on 98 percent of votes counted, broadcasters said.

The president is facing a more robust and united opposition this time, one that has vowed to return Turkey to a parliamentary democracy with strong checks and balances and decried what it calls Erdogan's "one-man rule". Analysts said the incumbent may also have feared a sharp slowdown in the economy expected later this year would lose him support if the elections had been held on schedule.

Electoral board Chairman Sadi Guven said that with more than 97 percent of votes counted, Erdogan had an absolute majority.

The vote will be watched far beyond Turkey's borders for what it will decide about the direction this country of 80 million - whether it continues down the path of populist authoritarianism with Erdogan, or takes a turn for democratic change.

He brought forward the elections from November 2019, but he faced an unexpectedly feisty challenge from Ince, a former physics teacher and veteran CHP lawmaker, who galvanized Turkey's long-demoralised and divided opposition.

"Even though we could not reach out goal in parliament, God willing we will be working to solve that with all our efforts in the People's Alliance", Erdogan said.

Six candidates, including Erdogan, are competing for the presidency.

In Germany, where more than 1.4 million eligible Turkish voters live, Erdoğan had garnered 65.4 percent of the vote.

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