Electoral board head: Turkey vote was 'healthy'

Electoral board head: Turkey vote was 'healthy'

President Mamnoon Hussain (left) extended heartfelt felicitations to President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) on his victory in the elections on Monday, June 25, 2018.

The election commission later confirmed Erdogan the victor, and also said Erdogan's Justice and development Party (AKP) and its allied Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had retained their parliamentary majority.

Erdogan's ruling party and its nationalist ally also appeared to secure a majority in the legislature, based on unofficial results published by both the state-run news agency and the opposition-linked Election Justice Platform, which was monitoring the count.

Speaking early Monday, Supreme Election Council head Sadi Guven said 97.7 percent of votes had been counted and declared Erdogan the victor.

Erdogan won 52.7 percent in Turkish presidential election after 96 percent of votes were counted in Turkey on June 24.

But the leading opposition party said it believes the results for the presidential elections are incomplete and may go to a second round.

"I hope nobody will damage democracy by casting a shadow on this election and its results to hide their failure", he continued.

"It is out of the question for us to turn back from where we've brought our country in terms of democracy and the economy", Erdogan said on Sunday night. If the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) wins seats by polling over the 10 percent minimum threshold, the AKP will struggle to keep its overall majority.

The former physics teacher, who led a robust campaign against Erdogan, called on him to end his divisive policies. "We will fight even more with the strength you provided us with this election".

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

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Erdogan, 64, the most popular - yet divisive - leader in modern Turkish history, told jubilant, flag-waving supporters there would be no retreat from his drive to transform Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and, at least nominally, a candidate to join the European Union.

The post of the prime minister will be abolished, and its powers transferred to Erdogan, who will also have the ability to appoint senior judges, ministers and vice presidents, giving him full control of those who are supposed to check his authority.

In the parliamentary contest, the ruling AKP of Erdogan had 42.4 percent and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) won almost 11.2 percent, after 98 percent of votes were counted. "Yes, they did. But did they steal 10 million votes? No".

Recep Erdogan has been the country's de facto leader since 2002, holding the position of president since 2014.

"Turkey has cut off its ties with democratic values".

Erdogan supporters celebrate outside his official residence in Istanbul on Sunday.

Mr Erdogan said there had been no serious voting violations. That, coupled with high inflation rates and fears that the central bank's independence will be further reduced, has left global investors uneasy after Erdogan's victory. He promised to lift the state of emergency shortly after the elections, to build his controversial Istanbul Canal, to open public parks throughout the country, and give every neighbourhood its own state-run cafe where tea and cake would be free.

The president had for the last two years ruled under a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the 2016 failed coup, with tens of thousands arrested in an unprecedented crackdown which cranked up tensions with the West.

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

More importantly, these elections leave Turkish society all the more polarised and divided.

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