Turkish voters to have final say in drawn-out presidential race – World – TASS (Erdogan Wins)

Zack Mason


ISTANBUL, May 28. /TASS/. The second round of presidential election will be held on Sunday in Turkey, with Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdgoan and the opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu taking part.

Erdogan has said that on May 28 Turkish voters will have to make “the most important choice in their lives, to take a decision concerning the future of the country and children.” In turn, Kilicdaroglu has noted that “Turkish citizens would have to make a choice between two candidates and two world views for the first time ever.”

The Republic of Turkey will mark turning 100 on October 29, and the Justice and Development Party headed by Erdogan has drafted a development strategy for the country dubbed ‘Century of Turkey’, which is also referred to as the party’s electoral program. The plan is to start its implementation after the election, same as ramp up efforts on adopting a new constitution, which was announced by the Turkish leader earlier.

The opposition also insists on passing a new main law as it seeks to transform the presidential form of ruling in the country to the parliamentary one. However, it will not meet this goal, considering the fact that the ruling alliance won the majority in the newly-convened legislative assembly at the parliamentary vote on May 14. The first round of presidential election was held on the same day. Erdogan’s political bloc has 323 seats in the 600-seat parliament, which is why not a single legislative initiative may be passed without its approval.

No presidential candidate managed to secure a first-round victory in Turkey’s presidential election on May 14, with incumbent President receiving 49.4% of the vote and the opposition candidate getting nearly 45%. With rather high voter turnout of 87% during the May 14 voting, around 8 mln Turkish voters out of 64 mln did not participate. Local sociologists said most of them did not vote as a mark of protest.

In the second round of election the candidate with a simple majority of votes will become the winner. Both candidates say they will win the presidential run-off.

Most opinion polls held in the country before the first round of elections turned out wrong. Currently many sociologists project Erdogan’s victory, noting that he might win at least 5% of votes more than his competitor.

Turkish political consultant Necati Ozkan told TASS when commenting on recent polls that he considered the chances of the two candidates roughly equal. However, he believes Erdogan still has an advantage, considering a powerful administrative resource at his disposal.

Polling stations will be open in Turkey between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time (same as Moscow time). Overall, a total of 191,884 ballot boxes have been installed in the country and abroad.

The Turkish Central Election Commission said earlier that preliminary official results of the second round of presidential vote would be announced on May 29, while the final results are expected on June 1.

Erdogan leading runoff presidential polls in Turkey – first data from Supreme Election Council.

Erdogan winning 57.1% of votes, Kilicdaroglu – 42.9% – first data from Supreme Election Council after counting 42.8% of ballots.

Gap between Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu narrowed to 11.6% – Supreme Election Council after counting 55.06% of ballots.

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