Turkey's Erdogan wins presidential election

Turkey’s Erdogan wins presidential election

Turkey's Erdogan wins presidential electionOpposition says still too early to concede defeat; pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party enters parliament.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in the June 24 presidential election and said his ruling AK Party and its alliance partner had won a parliamentary majority.

However, the main opposition party said it was too early to concede defeat and said it believed Mr. Erdogan could still fall short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff on July 8.

“Our people have given us the job of carrying out the presidential and executive posts,” he said in a short speech from Istanbul. “I hope nobody will try to cast a shadow on the results and harm democracy in order to hide their own failure.”

The June 24 vote ushers in a powerful new executive presidency long sought by Mr. Erdogan and backed by a small majority of Turks in a 2017 referendum. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the NATO member state and entrench one-man rule.

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

In early trading in Asia the lira currency firmed modestly against the dollar on the prospect of increased political stability.

Mr. Erdogan’s main presidential rival, Muharrem Ince of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) urged election monitors to remain at polling stations to help ensure against possible election fraud, as final results came in from large cities where his party typically performs strongly.

With 96% of votes counted in the presidential race, Mr. Erdogan had 53%, comfortably ahead of Mr. Ince on 31%, broadcasters said.

In the parliamentary contest, the Islamist-rooted AK Party had 43% and its MHP ally 11%, based on 98% of votes counted, broadcasters said.

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

The HDP’s presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, has waged his election campaign from a prison near the Greek border as he awaits trial on terrorism-related charges, which he denies. He had 7%, based on 90% of votes cast.

The opposition raised doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the figures released by state-run Anadolu news agency, the sole distributor of the official vote tally.

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