Turkey faces runoff election with Erdogan leading

TEHRAN, May 14 (MNA) – Turkey headed for a runoff vote as neither incumbent President Tayyip Erdogan, nor his opposition rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, managed to secure a majority vote and outright victory in the first round.

Neither Erdogan nor Kilicdaroglu cleared the 50% threshold needed to avoid a second round, to be held on May 28, in a Sunday election.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has secured 49.24% of the votes in the presidential election, while his main challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has obtained 45%, with 100% of ballots cast in Turkiye processed, according to state media.

According to state media, the Turkish Election Commission has annulled more than 1 million ballots out of 53.9 million.

More than 26 million people have voted for Erdogan, over 23.8 million — for Kilicdaroglu, and more than 2.7 million — for Sinan Ogan of the ATA Alliance.

The turnout has exceeded 88.8%. Ballots cast abroad are still being processed.

Polling stations for the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey opened at 8.00 local time (5:00 GMT) on Sunday. The second round of the presidential election, which will take place if no candidate gains 50% of votes, is scheduled for May 28.

Sitting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main opposition challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu are frontrunners in the race for the country’s top job, with right-wing politician Sinan Ogan a distant third. Muharrem Ince, the fourth contender until recently, dropped out of the race on Thursday.

Hours after the voting ended, Erdogan addressed his supporters, saying the current results showed him far ahead of Kilicdaroglu. He, however, stopped short of declaring an outright victory.

The incumbent president said votes from abroad were still being counted and that he was 2.6 million votes ahead of his rival.

Erdogan also noted that he would respect the people's decision if the presidential vote goes to a runoff, adding, however, "We believe that we will win in the first round."

Kilicdaroglu also made a short statement, saying early on Monday that he will accept the people's decision for a second round.

Speaking alongside leaders of the other parties in his alliance, he added that Erdogan had not obtained the result he wanted in Sunday's election.

Kilicdaroglu noted that he will accept a runoff vote and will win it against Erdogan.


News Code 200748


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