Erdogan declares victory in Turkish polls as opposition cries foul

Erdogan declares victory in Turkish polls as opposition cries foul

Erdogan declares victory in Turkish polls as opposition cries foul

Official results will not be out for a few days.

Braving a summer thunderstorm, Ince's supporters, in festive mood, sang anthems and waved red and white Turkish flags.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci also congratulated Mr Erdogan in a tweet, adding: "Looking forward to our continued good cooperation".

The Turkish Parliament will legislate and have the right to ratify or reject the budget.

"The polls vary, but one thing in common in majority is that Erdogan can not win in the first round". With Erdogan remaining at the helm of his party, a loyal parliamentary majority could reduce checks and balances on his power unless the opposition can wield an effective challenge.

The president also thanked the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader, members, and voters.

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.

Turkish state media has reported that with 99% of the votes counted, Erdogan has secured 53% of the votes, giving him a first-round win, with his closest rival Muharrem Ince on 31%. Of that number, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during trial.

Recent changes to electoral laws allow civil servants to lead ballot box committees.

The AKP's results are expected to be lower than they were in the 2015 election, when the party received almost 50 percent, achieving a comfortable majority in the parliament.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said on Sunday they "received some information that there are some attempts of election fraud". However, the small nationalist party the AKP was allied with garnered 49 seats.

The post of Prime Minister has been abolished and Mr Erdogan will now have increased power over the budget and the judiciary and the ability to rule by decree and dissolve Parliament.

The vote will be closely watched by the European Union - which Erdogan says he still wants Turkey to join despite the accession process grinding to a halt - and the United States which has seen no improvement in ties with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally under Donald Trump. Much of the President's base of support has been among conservative rural people.

"With the presidential system, Turkey is seriously raising the bar, rising above the level of contemporary civilisations".

But critics say he became increasingly autocratic and intolerant of dissent.

The centre-left Republican People's Party, which is the main Opposition political outfit, did not immediately concede defeat, but said it would continue its democratic struggle "whatever the result".

"It's one thing to be a physics teacher, it's another thing to run a country", Mr Erdogan said. He has wooed crowds with an unexpectedly engaging campaign, drawing massive numbers at his rallies in Turkey's three main cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

Addressing a rally in Istanbul on Saturday attended by hundreds of thousands of people, Ince promised to reverse what he and opposition parties see as a swing towards authoritarian rule under Erdogan in the country of 81 million people.

More than 56 million Turkish citizens are eligible to vote.

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