The race between incumbent President Erdogan and his rival, Kilicdaroglu, was close — and will likely go to a second round. For Erdoğan, the result was backfiring. But the opposition also exceeded their expectations.
After 20 years in power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to face a run-off election for the first time.
With 95 percent of ballot boxes counted in Germany and 37 percent abroad, Erdoğan won 49.49 percent of the vote, Election Commission Chairman Ahmet Yener said Monday morning (as of 3:00 a.m.) in Ankara. . Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu came in at 44.79 percent. Both of them missed the absolute majority of 50 percent, leading to a runoff on May 28. Sinan Ogan of the ultra-nationalist Ata coalition was a distant third with 5.3 percent. The foreigner can still play an important role. Which nomination he puts forward in the second phase of the election will be crucial.
The Election Commission did not announce the results of the parliamentary elections first. However, it was clear that Erdogan’s government coalition was able to secure its majority.
The election was seen as a sign. It is feared that the NATO country could become even more authoritarian under Erdogan for another five years.
Kilicdaroglu, 74, is the candidate of a broad coalition of six parties. He promises a return to parliamentary system, democracy and rule of law. This election is being closely watched internationally. A new government will have an impact on conflicts in the region, such as the war in Syria, but also on relations with the European Union and Germany.
There was already skepticism about the figures released by the Anadolu State Agency at the start of the vote. Opposition mayors of the metropolitan areas of Istanbul and Ankara regularly appeared before the press and accused the government of appreciating Erdogan’s values. Kilicdaroglu accused Erdoğan’s AKP party of blocking the number with objections in opposition strongholds. Erdogan again accused the opposition of “stealing the national will”.
The result was a setback for the 69-year-old – although Erdogan still managed to win in two weeks. He has won all national elections during his 20-year rule. Erdogan first became prime minister in 2003 and has been president since 2014. The aura of invincibility is lost through this run-off. Erdogan began a song in good spirits before cheering supporters in Ankara on Monday night.
Clikdaroglu appeared before the press that night with the party leaders of his six-party coalition. “Despite his insults and insults, Erdogan did not achieve the result he expected,” he said.
All sides now face an entirely new situation – not just for Erdogan, but for the challenger Kilicdaroglu – and the first run-off election for the citizens. Since 2014, the President has been the only person directly elected by the people.
All eyes are now on the Grand National Assembly in Ankara. Erdogan’s Islamic-conservative AKP and its ultra-nationalist ally, the MHP, could hold their absolute majority there. In this case, Erdogan may argue with the risk of a government crisis before the second election. He promptly did just that on Monday night. He was confident that voters would want “security and stability” in the second phase of elections, he said.
Erdoğan noted that parliament and the president could theoretically block each other if a majority of MPs went to a government coalition but the presidency went to the opposition or vice versa. While the President can issue an ordinance without the consent of the Parliament, if the Parliament enacts a law on the same subject, the ordinance is void. Either way, two weeks will be tougher than Turkey. The national currency, the lira, will continue to lose value due to uncertainty.
The extent of voter turnout in the affected areas will be shown at the end of the counting. According to the preliminary assessment by the concerned authority, the election was conducted smoothly. Opposition politicians complained of minor incidents from various provinces.
The election campaign was also considered unfair due to the government’s superior media power. Erdogan lashed out at the opposition, describing his opponent as a “drunkard” and a “terrorist”. The opposition countered with a positive campaign. Before the second phase, Erdogan could rely on most of the media and the government’s majority in parliament. Erdogan primarily campaigns with election gifts, such as salary increases for civil servants and major projects in the infrastructure and arms sectors. Kilicdaroglu promises to democratize the country by fighting corruption and inflation. When it comes to migration, he adopts a nationalist tone. He wants to send back some 3.5 million refugees from Syria and renegotiate the refugee deal with the EU.
A total of 64 million people were asked to vote, of which about 3.4 million were overseas. (SDA)