Turkey election: Country faces crucial run-off after Erdogan fails to win outright

(CNN) – Turkey will hold a run-off election on May 28 after a long-term president President Recep Tayyip Erdogan A forced Second round with a narrow lead over his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

According to Turkey’s Supreme Election Council, after 100% of the ballot boxes were opened, no candidate reached the 50% required to fully secure the presidency. All the ballot boxes in the country have been opened and 88.92% of the votes have been registered, said the council chairman Ahmed Yener.

But Kilicdaroglu now faces an uphill battle to win the second round after Erdogan fared better than some polls suggested.

The official final results of Turkey’s elections will be announced on Friday, according to the head of Turkey’s Supreme Election Council, Ahmet Yener.

With the final tally, voters will return to a runoff vote that could extend Erdogan’s 20-year hold on power or set the stage for political change. direction.

Adem Alton/AFP/Getty Images

Erdogan supporters waved flags outside the headquarters of the Justice and Development (AK) party in Ankara, Turkey, after the president did better in the first round than pre-election polls suggested.

Each candidate tried to re-energize voters as the results began to roll in early Monday morning.

Erdogan said he was “already ahead” of his “closest rival”.

“We are already 2.6 million votes ahead of our closest competitor. We expect this number to increase with the official results,” he opined.

He added that his camp still does not know “if the presidential election ends in the first round”.

The leader of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party came under fire in the months leading up to the election. February 6 earthquakeand supervision a Unconventional fiscal policy It has plunged the country into a cost-of-living crisis.

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His decision to maintain close ties with Russia amid the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine has caused friction with NATO allies, and he has blocked requests from Finland and Sweden to join the transatlantic military alliance. He campaigned on the stability of his long-term regime, an independent foreign policy and lowering the retirement age.

Kilicdaroglu, who represents an electoral coalition of six opposition parties, has pledged to reverse Erdogan’s pro-Islamist policies. Political slogan based on secularism and fixing Turkey’s economic woes.

“I will fight until the end,” Kilicdaroglu said in a video message on Twitter.

“I promise to fight till the end. I am Here it is, he said in a video he released following the announcement that the second phase of polling would be held on May 28.

Earlier, he welcomed the opportunity to re-poll and said his party would win.

Supporters of both candidates say momentum is on their candidate’s side, but the final outcome of the runoff could be determined by a key third component.

Before Sunday’s election, Sinan Ogun was little known outside Turkey as a fringe, ultra-nationalist politician. But now he could be a potential kingmaker for any leader.

The 55-year-old far-right candidate, who won 5.17% of Turkey’s first round of votes, has enough support in the first round to vote for either Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu.

“The next 15 days will be difficult,” Ogan told a news conference in Ankara on Sunday.

“We will do our best to make this process a good one for our country and for our country. We are not saying that we will support any party at this time,” he said.

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“We’re going to decide this in consultation,” he told CNN Monday.

He told Reuters on Monday that if he signed a coalition with both factions, there would be no concessions on “sending refugees to their homeland” as the country’s absorption of asylum seekers from neighboring Syria is at the center of political debate in Turkey.

“We have some red lines (to support any candidate) like fighting terrorism and repatriating refugees. We’ve voiced these conditions before,” Ogan said in comments made before the runoff was announced.

“If we decide to stay with a coalition, a protocol will be signed with them, and we are verbalizing that no concessions will be made regarding the (pro-Kurdish) People’s Democratic Party.”

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