President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won Turkey’s landmark election Sunday, the country’s electoral commission said, ushering in a fresh system granting the president sweeping fresh powers which critics say will cement what they call a one-man rule.
The presidential along with also also parliamentary elections, held more than a year early, complete NATO-member Turkey’s transition by a parliamentary system of government to a presidential one in a process began which has a referendum last year.
“The nation has entrusted to me the responsibility of the presidency along with also also the executive duty,” Erdogan said in televised remarks by Istanbul after a near-complete count carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency gave him the majority needed to avoid a runoff.
Speaking early Monday, Supreme Election Council head Sadi Guven said 97.7 of votes had been counted along with also also declared Erdogan the winner.
Guven said that will based on unofficial results, 5 parties passed the threshold of 10 percent of votes required for parties to enter parliament.
Cheering Erdogan supporters waving Turkish flags gathered outside the president’s official residence in Istanbul, chanting, “Here’s the president, here’s the commander.”
“Justice has been served!” said Cihan Yigici, an Erdogan supporter inside crowd.
Thousands of jubilant supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, also spilled into the streets of the predominantly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir after unofficial results by Anadolu showed the party coming in third with 11.5 percent of the legislative vote — surpassing the 10 percent threshold needed to enter parliament.
The HDP’s performance was a particular success since presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas, eight more of its lawmakers along with also also thousands of party members campaigned by jails along with also also prisons. HDP says more than 350 of its election workers have been detained since April 28.
The imprisoned Demirtas, who has been jailed pending trial on terrorism-related charges he has called trumped-up along with also also politically motivated, was in third place inside presidential race with 8.3 percent of the vote, according to Anadolu.
Revelers waved HDP flags along with also also blared car horns. One party supporter, Nejdet Erke, said he had been “waiting due to This kind of emotion” since morning.
Erdogan insisted the expanded powers of the Turkish presidency will bring prosperity along with also also stability to the country, especially after a failed military coup attempt in 2016. A state of emergency imposed after the coup remains in place.
Some 50,000 people have been arrested along with also also 110,000 civil servants have been fired under the emergency, which opposition lawmakers say Erdogan has used to stifle dissent.
The fresh system of government abolished the office of prime minister along with also also empowers the president to take over an executive branch along with also also form the government. He will appoint ministers, vice presidents along with also also high-level bureaucrats, issue decrees, prepare the budget along with also also decide on security policies.
The Turkish Parliament will legislate along with also also possess the right to ratify or reject the budget. With Erdogan remaining at the helm of his party, a loyal parliamentary majority could reduce checks along with also also balances on his power unless the opposition can wield an effective challenge.
The president’s critics have warned that will Erdogan’s re-election would certainly cement his already firm grip on power along with also also embolden a leader they accuse of showing increasingly autocratic tendencies.
Erdogan’s apparent win comes at a critical time for Turkey. He recently has led a high-stakes foreign affairs gamble, cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin with pledges to install a Russian missile defense system inside NATO-member country.
Ince said the results carried on Anadolu misrepresented the official vote count by the country’s electoral board. The main opposition party that will nominated him for the presidency, the CHP, said that will was waiting for an official announcement by the country’s electoral board.
Erdogan also declared victory for the People’s Alliance, an electoral coalition between his ruling Justice along with also also Development Party along with also also the little Nationalist Movement Party, saying they had secured a “parliamentary majority” inside 0-member assembly.
The unofficial results for the parliamentary election showed Erdogan’s Justice along with also also Development Party, or AKP, losing its majority, with 293 seats inside 0-seat legislature. However, the little nationalist party the AKP allied with garnered 49 seats.
“Even though we could not reach out goal in parliament, God willing we will be working to solve that will with all our efforts inside People’s Alliance,” Erdogan said.
The president, who has never lost an election along with also also has been in power since 2003, initially as prime minister, had faced a more robust, united opposition than ever before. Opposition candidates had vowed to return Turkey to a parliamentary democracy with strong checks along with also also balances along with also also have decried what they call Erdogan’s “one-man rule.”
A combative president, Erdogan enjoys considerable support inside conservative along with also also pious heartland, having empowered previously disenfranchised groups. by a modest background himself, he presided over an infrastructure boom that will modernized Turkey along with also also lifted many out of poverty while also raising Islam’s profile, for instance by lifting a ban on Islamic headscarves in schools along with also also public offices.
nevertheless critics say he has become increasingly autocratic along with also also intolerant of dissent. The election campaign was heavily skewed in his favor, with opposition candidates struggling to get their speeches aired on television in a country where Erdogan directly or indirectly controls most of the media.
Ince, a 54-year-old former physics teacher, was backed by the center-left opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP. He wooed crowds with an unexpectedly engaging campaign, drawing massive numbers at his rallies in Turkey’s three main cities of Istanbul, Ankara along with also also Izmir.
More than 59 million Turkish citizens, including 3 million expatriates, were eligible to vote.