The Supreme Electoral Board of Turkey (YSK) announced the first results of this Sunday’s general elections, in which the country voted to elect its new president and renew the 600 seats of the Grand National Assembly.
With 98.48% of the ballots counted, the current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is the candidate of the ruling People’s Alliance coalition, which includes his party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), obtained 49.34% of the votes.
On the other hand, the opposition candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Nation Alliance and leader of the historic Republican People’s Party (CHP), obtained 45%.
The candidate Muharrem Ince, whose votes were counted as valid despite his withdrawal from the elections, received 0.46%, while Sinan Ogan of the ATA Alliance, was left with 5.30%.
More than 64.1 million voters, both in Turkey and abroad, including some 4.9 million young people voting for the first time, were called to the election, which kicked off at 8:00 a.m. Voter turnout is expected to be a record high.
The head of the supreme electoral body, Ahmet Yener, noted that during the day there were no situations that could “negatively” impact the results. “No negative situation has been reflected to our board so far,” he said.
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He also stressed that “there is no interruption or delay in data entry” with respect to electoral data. “Our data is also shared with political parties instantly,” he added.
President Erdogan tweeted that the elections are taking place “in the form of a great celebration of democracy with peace and tranquility,” which he sees as an “expression of democratic maturity” in his country.
“I would like to ask my colleagues and associates not to leave the polling stations under any circumstances until the results are officially finalized,” the president wrote.
For these elections, a total of 191,885 ballot boxes were set up in 973 districts, as well as 1,094 electoral boards throughout the country, reports Anadolu Agency. Likewise, for the more than 3.4 million voters living abroad, voting centers were set up in 73 countries and 156 diplomatic representations.
On the other hand, the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) took a series of measures to guarantee security in the 11 provinces devastated by the earthquake at the beginning of February.
Along with Erdogan, who is running for re-election for the ruling People’s Alliance (4 parties), which includes his party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP, in Turkish), three other candidates are also running, although according to the polls, Kemal Kilicdaroglu is the only one capable of winning the presidency. This center-left politician from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), founded by the former first president of the Turkish republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, came into the elections as the candidate of the Nation Alliance (6 parties).
The third candidate on the list is Sinan Ogan, who ran for the ATA Alliance and who the polls prior to election day placed in last place in the race for the presidency.
Meanwhile, the center-left candidate, Muharrem Ince (Memleket party), announced Thursday that he withdrew his candidacy after denouncing being the victim of a campaign to defame him.
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However, Ince’s name has appeared on the ballot and votes in favor of his candidacy will be counted as valid, according to the head of the electoral body, Ahmet Yener.
To win in the first round, one of the three candidates must obtain 50% of the votes plus one. If none of them wins, there will be a second round, scheduled for May 28. The winning candidate will govern the nation for the next five years.
Meanwhile, 24 parties and 151 independent candidates are participating in the parliamentary elections. To obtain a majority, political groupings need to win at least 301 seats.
Voting intention polls indicated that Erdogan’s People’s Alliance, Kilicdaroglu’s Nation Alliance, as well as the Labor and Freedom Alliance would pass the 7% mark.
Likewise, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which defends ethnic interests such as the Kurds, although it does not participate in the legislative elections independently as it is on the list of the Green Left and the Good Party (IYI), would also have a chance of entering the chamber.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
blaorinoco 5.15.2023 1:20 PM EST
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