'Opposition denied equal conditions in Turkey polls'

Alicia Cross
June 26, 2018

Regardless, Erdogan proudly addressed supporters from his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) headquarters in the capital Ankara early Monday morning, telling them: "The victor of this election is each and every individual among my 81 million citizens", and lauding the "lessons in democracy" Turkey had given to the rest of the world.

Global observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, (OSCE) said voters in Turkey enjoyed a genuine choice in the country's twin presidential and parliamentary elections, but criticized the "lack of equal conditions" during campaigning.

Turkey's national electoral board has declared Erdogan the victor of the country's presidential election with an absolute majority of valid votes.

State media also reported on Sunday that Erdogan's AK Party holds 43 percent, while the opposition party holds 23 percent of the vote, with 96 percent of the total vote counted.

Erdogan won 52.5 per cent in the presidential poll while his main rival Muharrem Ince, of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was on 31.7 per cent, Anadolu news agency said, based on a 99 per cent vote count.

But what do the election results mean for Turkey and the rest of the world? As of Monday morning he had not conceded the election and urged election observers not to leave ballot boxes.

But he said that there was no significant difference between official results and his party's figures, and therefore he would accept the outcome.

Erdogan's victory could also add to Turkey's division with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

One of the big takeaways from the election is that the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) passed the 10% threshold to enter parliament.

Here are five reasons why Erdogan, who could theoretically stay in power until 2028, dominated these elections and may continue to dominate Turkish politics for years to come.

While his supporters never thought a second round presidential vote would be anything but a foregone conclusion, they hoped Ince could capture enough of the vote to force one to happen - or even win the first round.

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Ince also complained that it was an unfair election but accepted Erdogan's victory during a news conference Monday.

In the parliamentary election, Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) got 42.5 percent, 7 percent less than in the previous election, forcing it into an alliance with the MHP, which surprisingly obtained 11 percent.

Under the new system, the office of prime minister is abolished, parliament's powers curtailed and the president is accorded wide-ranging executive authority.

In a speech at CHP headquarters on Monday, Ince said that despite suspicions of fraud, he nonetheless recognised Erdogan's victory: "Did they steal votes? Yes". The E.U. Council will discuss relations with Turkey later this week, balancing the need for collective action on migration flows with concern about democratic backsliding.

An executive presidential system approved by the April referendum now comes into effect.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa. Erdogan says his tough measures are needed to safeguard national security.

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.

The state of emergency restricts some freedoms and allows the government to bypass Parliament with decrees.

But the opposition has lambasted the uneven nature of the poll, which saw state-controlled television ignore Ince's giant rally in Istanbul on the eve of the election.

Turkey held Sunday's elections under a state of emergency declared after a failed military coup in July 2016.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also told reporters that the US urges Turkey to "take steps to strengthen democracy and continue progress toward resolving issues in the bilateral relationship".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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