Election officials in Turkey say President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has an absolute-majority win in Sunday’s presidential election with 99 percent of the votes counted.
The Supreme Election Council announcement, reported by Turkey’s state-aligned Anadolu news agency, countered claims by the opposition that Erdoğan would need to compete in a runoff election. Erdoğan held 52.5 percent of the vote, and the remaining uncounted ballots do not affect the outcome, election chief Sadi Guven said.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP), however, said the president missed the 50 percent mark by their count, and Erdoğan should face candidate Muharrem Ince in a second round.
The incumbent was quick to celebrate the news, waving to supporters from the balcony of his AK Party headquarters in Ankara. He held an earlier press conference and watched election returns in Istanbul.
“According to the unofficial election results, our people have given me the duty of presidency and the head of executive branch,” Erdoğan said. “Turkey has given a lesson to the entire world on democracy with a turnout that is close to 90 percent.”
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir sent his official congratulations, as did President Mohamed Farmaajo of Somalia, according to AK party officials. Their messages reflect the growing influence and importance of Turkey on the continent, particularly in the Horn of Africa region where Erdoğan’s political and economic investments have created tensions tied to the Gulf crisis centered on Qatar.
The president also completed a four-nation tour in February with stops in Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.
Image: Government of Turkey