Turkish government spokesman says Erdogan wins Presidential Election

Published On: June 25, 2018 02:27 AM NPT By: Agencies

ANKARA, June 25: A Turkish government spokesman announced Sunday that Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan had won his re-election with 52.8 percent of the vote.

Commenting on his victory, Erdogan said Sunday that his government would continue to respond to those who threaten Turkey via terror organizations. He called on his country to focus on the future after the election, and renewed his determination to improve rights and freedoms in the country.

The incumbent urged that his re-election was a public mandate and that there would be "no turning back" on the economic path he and his ruling AKP party had plotted for the country.

"Our people have given us the job of carrying out the presidential and executive posts," he said in a short speech from Istanbul, Reuters reported. "I hope nobody will try to cast a shadow on the results and harm democracy in order to hide their own failure."

Although 95.1 percent of the votes have been counted according to TVS, Turkey's main opposition party urged that the result was too close to call Sunday night.

Bulent Tezcan, the spokesman for the main opposition CHP, said at a news conference that votes from the largest cities had not yet been counted and predicted that the elections would enter a second round. He cited what he said was his party's own data, which showed that only 39 percent of the votes had been counted and that Erdogan's percentage of the vote was only 51.7 percent at that time.

Sunday's vote ushers in a powerful new executive presidency long sought by Erdogan and backed by a small majority of Turks in a 2017 referendum. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the NATO member state and entrench one-man rule.

The elections were originally scheduled for November 2019, but were moved up to June by Erdogan himself. The preliminary elections were crucial to enforce the new constitution introduced after a referendum in April 2017.

Erdogan has served in Turkey's highest political office since 2014, also serving as its prime minister from 2003 to 2014. He is the founder of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). On July 15, 2016, the Turkish military attempted to remove Erdogan from office, but the coup d'etat was suppressed and widespread purges of the civil and military ranks followed. Erdogan's government blamed a Muslim cleric, Fethullah Guelen, once Erdogan's political ally, but now exiled and living in the US.

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