Turkey is set for an election runoff after Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections failed to produce a clear winner. Preliminary results indicate that the incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party have a slight lead over the opposition Kemal Kilicdaroglu, but fell short of the required majority.
On Monday morning, the country’s supreme election board said Erdogan had won 49.4 % of the vote, with 99 % of domestic ballot boxes opened and more than 86 % of overseas ballot boxes counted.
As per Turkey’s election rules, an outright victory requires a candidate to get at least 50% of the votes plus one, while a political party must obtain 50% of the seats to form a government on its own.
While both were certain for a first-round victory, Erdogan and People’s Republican Party (CHP) leader Kilicdaroglu have accepted the uncertainty, with the president saying a second round is “welcome” if it is the will of the people.
Kilicdaroglu Will Accept Runoff
The leader of Turkey’s opposition alliance Kemal Kilicdaroglu said early on Monday that he would accept the electorate’s decision for a second round vote.
Kilicdaroglu expressed confidence that he would win in a runoff against incumbent President Recep Tayipp Erdogan as he spoke alongside leaders of the six-party alliance.
“If our nation says second round, we will absolutely win in the second round,” Kilicdaroglu told reporters. “The will for change in society is higher than 50%.”
The opposition parties, however, are crying foul, saying that there were irregularities in the elections and that votes had been manipulated in favor of Erdogan’s ruling party.
Despite the allegations, Erdogan declared victory, telling supporters outside his party headquarters that “Turkey has given a very clear decision.
“The voting process was completed in a way that befits our democracy, thank God,” Erdogan said. “Now, as always, it’s time to hold tight to the ballot boxes. Until the results are final, we continue to protect the will of our nation!”
In response, Ince has refused to concede the defeat and vowed to fight harder for the second round. He urged his supporters to remain calm and continue to vote for change in the country’s leadership.
The second round of voting is set to take place on July 8, where Erdogan and his party will go head-to-head with the opposition in what is set to be a heated battle. The result of the election runoff will have significant ramifications for Turkey, both domestically and internationally, as Erdogan seeks to consolidate his power for another term.
Source: Reuters and AFP