Voting between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main rival, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, will continue. Fierce election race in TurkeyThe country’s election chief said on Monday.
Ahmet Yener, head of Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Board, said the presidential election would go to a second round on May 28 because incumbent Erdogan did not secure an outright victory.
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With unofficial counts nearly complete, support for Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for 20 years with an increasingly authoritarian grip, has fallen below the majority he needs to win outright re-election. Erdoğan had 49.5% of the vote and Kıltaroğlu 44.8%. State-run news agency Anadolu.
A candidate must secure 50% of the votes to avoid a run-off.
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Voters in Turkey were largely concerned about domestic issues such as the economy, civil rights and the February earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people. But Western countries and Investors were also waiting for the result. Turkey’s main benchmark stock index fell more than 6% In early trade on Monday, the stock rebounded by about 2.5% as investors absorbed the uncertain election results.
The election could determine whether Erdogan remains in control of the NATO ally, which borders Europe and Asia but borders Syria and Iran. He raised the country’s profile internationally, but implemented unorthodox economic policies that undermined its democratic institutions and rocked the country’s economy. Turkey is one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists. Kilicdaroglu has promised to restore stability to Turkey’s economy, foster better relations with the United States and other Western allies, and return the country to a more democratic path. Compared to Erdogan, he often places the Muslim nation on a more secular path.
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Erdogan Vs. Kilicdaroglu: Who has the edge?
Both sides are confident of winning the run-off.
“If our country opted for a second round, that would also be welcome,” Erdogan, 69, said early Monday, noting that the votes of Turkish citizens living abroad still had to be counted. He won 60% of foreign votes in 2018.
“We will absolutely win the second round… and bring democracy,” said 74-year-old Kilicdaroglu, the candidate of the six-party coalition, arguing that Erdogan has lost the confidence of a nation that is now demanding change.
However, Howard Eisenstadt, an associate professor of Middle East history and politics at St. Lawrence University in New York, said Erdogan would have an advantage in a run-off because the president’s party will also do well in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. He said voters would not like “divided government”.
Contributed by: Associated Press