Erdogan takes big lead in Turkey presidential vote, results show
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party is nearing the 10% electoral threshold to enter parliament.
Unofficial results from Turkey’s presidential election show incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a commanding lead.
With more than half of ballot boxes counted, Mr Erdogan had 56.5% of the vote, which would be enough for him to win outright and avoid a run-off election.
Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency said challenger Muharrem Ince was in second place, with nearly 29% of the vote. Jailed candidate Selahattin Demirtas hovered at around 6%.
In the parliamentary election, a “People Alliance” consisting of Mr Erdogan’s ruling party and a nationalist party led at around 59% with about 36% of ballot boxes counted.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party is nearing the 10% electoral threshold to enter parliament, with 9% of the vote.
Mr Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is hoping to retain its majority in parliament.
Mr Erdogan — who has been in power since 2003 — is however facing a more robust and united opposition, which has vowed to return Turkey to a parliamentary democracy with strong checks and balances.
It has condemned what it calls Mr Erdogan’s “one-man rule”.
Five candidates are running against Mr Erdogan in the presidential race.
Although Mr Erdogan is seen as the front-runner, he must secure more than 50% of the vote for an outright win. If the threshold is not reached, a run-off could be held on July 8 between the leading two contenders.
Mr Erdogan’s main challenger is 54-year-old former physics teacher Mr Ince, who is backed by the centre-left main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, and has wooed crowds with an unexpectedly engaging election campaign.
His rallies in Turkey’s three main cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir drew massive numbers.
Turkey will also be electing 600 politicians to parliament — 50 more than in the previous assembly.