Turkey's Erdogan claims victory in poll

Turkey's Erdogan claims victory in poll

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

Erdogan won 52.5 per cent in the presidential poll while Ince, of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was on 31.5 per cent, state-run Anadolu news agency said, based on a 99 per cent vote count.

Electoral officials declared Erdogan the victor of the presidential election.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said that although the election had offered a genuine choice, Mr Erdogan and his party had enjoyed an advantage.

"Our people have given us the job of carrying out the presidential and executive posts", Mr Erdogan said in a short national address, even as votes were still being counted.

"I congratulate the brother and friend of Venezuela, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his fantastic victory in the elections in the Republic of Turkey", Maduro wrote on Twitter.

It said the state of emergency in place since 2016 had caused limits "to freedom of expression and assembly" which affected other political parties.

With only 0.9% of the ballots left to be processed at lunchtime on Monday, Muharrem Ince conceded defeat in Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections.

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The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) passed narrowly the 10 percent threshold to enter the parliament while its jailed candidate Selahattin Demirtas got around 8.3 percent of the votes in the presidential race.

Having defeated the twin threats of a reinvigorated opposition and a weakened currency, Erdogan addressed cheering supporters in the capital, Ankara, saying the victor of the election was democracy, the national will and the nation itself.

Erdogan swept the Sunday presidential polls while his ruling party and its nationalist allies secured a majority in parliament.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic congratulated Erdogan, saying that Belgrade "will continue to be a reliable partner of Turkey and of its role as a leader ready to defend the values and principles in these more than hard times". The office of Prime Minister will be abolished and Mr. Erdoğan will be able to issue decrees to form and regulate Ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek has recently voiced the belief that Erdogan's reelection along with his party's strong dominance in parliament would help speed up economic and financial reforms in combating the country's high inflation, and unemployment.

Now Erdogan has a five-year mandate with nearly absolute powers although the country appears to be divided in two.

Erdogan has transformed Turkey first as prime minister from 2003 to 2014 and then as president, allowing Islam a greater role in public life and giving the country a much more assertive profile on the worldwide stage.

Erdogan's re-election is bound to further complicate the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance as he vowed to continue to "liberate Syrian lands" in his victory speech. Erdogan has said he will soon lift the emergency. It also said four Germans had been detained in Turkey during Sunday's elections but did not say why.

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