Recep Tayyip Erdogan Re-Elected President #TurkishElections2018
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the majority of votes in Sunday’s high-stakes election, surviving the most serious challenge yet to his political dominance and tightening his grip on the nation he has ruled for 15 years.
Sadi Guven, Turkey’s Supreme Election Board chief, said 97.7% of the votes were counted and “the votes that have not been tallied so far do not change the outcome.”
Erdogan had declared himself the winner before the official results were announced. But the opposition cried foul, claiming that state media and the election commission had manipulated the results and saying it was too early to be sure of the outcome.
With his victory, Erdogan will gain sweeping new powers when he resumes office. He narrowly won a referendum last year to transform the country’s parliamentary system to a powerful executive presidency, in what his critics called a blatant power grab.
Erdogan had also said his ruling Justice and Development Party, the AKP, and its allied Nationalist Movement Party, the MHP, had together retained their control of parliament.
The results were a blow to Erdogan’s closest rival, Muharrem Ince and his Republican People’s Party, known as the CHP, who had seemed on the verge of forcing the President into a damaging runoff and denying the AKP-MHP alliance a parliamentary majority.
Our nation has given me the mandate for the presidency,” Erdogan said in a victory speech in Istanbul, noting his declaration was based on unofficial results.
“I would like to congratulate our nation once again. This has been another test of democracy and we have passed this test successfully.”
After a day in which millions cast their votes, throngs of Erodogan supporters waited until the early hours of Monday morning to hear Erdogan speak from a balcony at the AK Party headquarters in Ankara. In the largest city, Istanbul, cars in the street and boats on the Bosporus honked their horns and fireworks lit up the sky.
Around 59 million people were eligible to vote in both presidential and parliamentary elections Sunday. Erdogan said the participation rate was 90%, an extraordinarily high number for any election.
Earlier, state news agency Anadolu reported that the President had sailed through the snap vote at 52.7%, with more than 96% of the ballots counted. It also said the AKP-MHP coalition had more than 53% of the parliamentary vote, with over 98% of the votes counted.