Turkey election: Erdogan win ushers in new presidential era

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Ankara Turkey

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Ankara Turkey

Worldwide observers have denounced the lack of "equal" conditions for candidates to campaign in Turkey's twin presidential and parliamentary elections that were swept by incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party.

Early Monday morning the Supreme Election Council announced Erdogan received the absolute majority in the presidential election with 53 percent of votes after 97.7 percent of ballots had been counted.

Speaking early Monday, Supreme Election Council head Sadi Guven said 97.7 percent of votes had been counted and declared Erdogan the victor.

However, an opposition election platform which is doing its own vote tally based on results gathered by its observers at polling stations gave Erdogan only 43.5 percent and Ince 33.9 percent, based on almost 12 percent of overall votes cast.

Though his main opponent-Muharrem Ince of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP)-has yet to officially concede, it appears Erdogan will now assume the significantly expanded powers he narrowly secured in a referendum a year ago.

GettyTurkey election results: Who won the Turkey election?

An unexpectedly strong showing by the AK Party's alliance partner, the nationalist MHP, could translate into a stable parliamentary majority Erdogan seeks to govern freely.

Five candidates were running against Erdogan in the presidential race. Voter turnout for the election was reportedly 87%. The report said they were not accredited to monitor the vote.

Putin stressed his readiness to continue "close joint work" and dialogue with Erdogan, whose ruling party-led alliance also won an overall majority in parliament, the Kremlin said.

Critics say the new powers give too much authority to a single person and remove the checks and balances vital to ensure a balanced and truly representative democracy.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives to deliver a speech, June 24, 2018, in Istanbul, after initial results of Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Mr Erdogan, 64, returns to power after gaining a comfortable 52.6% of the vote - but his ruling Justice and Development Party suffered losses as it polled 42.5% in a parliamentary ballot.

In the opposition camp, the CHP had 23 per cent and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) 11 per cent - above the threshold it needs to reach to enter parliament.

Ibrahim said Erdogan's victory was also a victory for the Muslim world "in portraying a modern and progressive face of Islam".

The stakes in the election were particularly high because of the enhanced powers for the new president under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan.

He secured an executive presidency with sweeping powers, having been first elected 15 years ago.

If confirmed, the results will mean Erdogan, who still enjoys sky-high support in parts of the Anatolian heart of the country, even improved on his score from the 2014 presidential elections of 51.8%.

Speaking in televised remarks from Istanbul, he said "the nation has entrusted to me the responsibility of the presidency and the executive duty".

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's main challenger in Sunday's elections, Muharrem İnce, has conceded defeat, urging the re-elected Turkish president to embrace all the country's 81 million citizens, and vowing to continue the fight against one-man rule in opposition.

Mr Erdogan said there had been no serious voting violations. "And this is the most important election I've participated in".

But celebrations were already beginning outside Erdogan's residence in Istanbul and AKP headquarters in Ankara, with crowds of flag-waving supporters, AFP correspondents said.

The president's critics, including the European Union which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent. More than 110,000 government workers have also been dismissed under a state of emergency after the coup.

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