Turkey elections: Early results show Erdogan takes lead in presidential race

Turkey elections: Early results show Erdogan takes lead in presidential race

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman has sharply rebuked Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff who bemoaned Turkey's "descent into autocracy" after Erdogan's presidential election win. The vote will complete Turkey's transition from a parliamentary to a new executive presidential system, a move approved in a referendum past year.

Trailing were Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with over eight percent in third and Meral Aksener of the nationalist (Iyi) Good Party with over seven percent.

In Sunday's parliamentary poll, the CHP won some 22.64 percent, far less than Ince.

The Kremlin press service said earlier that Putin had sent a telegram to Erdogan to congratulate him on his re-election as Turkey's president and the victory of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

The HDP was polling 11.5 percent, well over the 10 percent minimum threshold needed, to win 67 seats, which would make the party the second-biggest opposition faction in the new chamber.

Its success is all the more remarkable given the HDP's Demirtas has campaigned from a jail cell after his November 2016 arrest on charges of links to outlawed Kurdish militants. There were also repeated cases of intimidation against opposition campaigners, mainly in the form of "interventions", stopping them from holding rallies, handing out flyers, and other campaign activities. He will also have the right to appoint individuals into high-level government positions and senior roles within the judiciary.

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The People's Alliance, formed between the AK Party and MHP clinched victory in Turkey's 27th general elections Sunday by receiving 53.6 percent of the votes. "Parliament will be diverse, with the coalition system ensuring the representation of a wide range of parties - including the Kurds". He accused the agency of "manipulation" of the results.

Turnout in the presidential election was nearly 88 percent, according to the figures published by Anadolu.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters as he addresses a campaign rally in Istanbul on June 23, 2018, one day before presidential and parliamentary elections.

He secured an executive presidency with sweeping powers, having been first elected 15 years ago. "I hope nobody will damage democracy by casting a shadow on this election and its results to hide their failure". But critics accuse the Turkish strongman, 64, of trampling on civil liberties and autocratic behaviour.

The state of emergency has been in place since July 2016 following a failed deadly coup blamed by the government on the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based self-exiled religious leader. Analysts predict an economic downturn amid rising inflation and a struggling currency.

Last year, Erdogan drove through constitutional reforms that shift Turkey toward a USA -style political system, eliminating the office of prime minister and handing the president powers to pass laws by decree, pick cabinet ministers from outside the legislature, force new elections and declare a state of emergency.

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