Türkiye heads to runoff – preliminary results


With 99% of the ballots counted in the Turkish presidential election, preliminary official results show that neither the incumbent, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, nor his Western-leaning opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, have managed to win enough support in the first round to avoid a runoff later this month.

The tally released on Monday shows Erdogan just short of a majority with over 49% of the vote, while Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has over 45%. Outsider independent candidate Sinan Ogan, who was a distant third with 5.2%, is now poised to become a kingmaker in a runoff between the two frontrunners set for May 28.

In an address to supporters at around 2am, Erdogan said he was ready for a second round and that “throughout our political life, without exception, we have always respected the decision of the national will.” He also blasted the opposition for trying “to deceive the nation” with their claims of voting irregularities, instead of waiting patiently for the final results to be announced.

Kilicdaroglu accused the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party of stalling the count and “blocking the will of Türkiye” by demanding recounts and thorough verification of the results. He also said that he would accept a runoff vote, and intended to win it.

A former member of the Erdogan-allied Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Ogan was running as an independent, backed by the Ancestral Alliance, a grouping of four predominantly nationalist parties. Ogan also chipped in with claims of “some manipulations” allegedly carried out “in the overseas vote counting processes.” He refused to say who the alliance would support in the runoff, but later tweeted that “Turkish nationalists and Ataturkists” are in a better position to win this election.

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