With just over 99 per cent of ballot boxes opened, Erdogan has received 49.4 per cent of votes in the country’s presidential election, the head of the country’s election council has said.
Ahmet Yener, the head of the Supreme Election Council (YSK) said that Erdogan’s rival, Kemal Kılıcdaroglu, had scored 44.96 per cent and the third-placed candidate, Sinan Ogan 5.2 per cent of the vote.
Yener said the result delays were due to a rise in the number of overseas voters and in the number of parties running in the elections. There were eight parties in 2018, and 24 this time around.
Speaking to supporters in Ankara this morning, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he could still win but would respect the nation’s decision if the race went to a run-off vote in two weeks.
“We don’t yet know if the elections ended in the first round … If our nation has chosen for a second round, that is also welcome,” Erdogan said.
He noted that votes from Turkish citizens living abroad still need to be tallied. He garnered 60 per cent of the overseas vote in 2018.
The main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said he would accept a run-off and win it.
“Despite all of his lies and attacks, Erdogan did not receive the desired outcome,” said Kilicdaroglu.
“No one should be enthusiastic about this being a done deal. The election is not won on the balcony,” he said, in an apparent reference to Erdogan’s choice of speech venue.
In an interview with German news site Der Spiegel, the third presidential candidate, Sinan Ogan suggested he would only lend his support to the opposition Nation’s Alliance if the “HDP is excluded from the political system”, in reference to its successor party, Yesil Sol.
Given the margins, Ogan’s 5.25 per cent would greatly help either Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu.
In preliminary results from the parliamentary elections, state news agency Anadolu reported Erdoğan’s governing coalition had secured 49.38% of the overall vote, while the opposition coalition has 35.16%, with potentially another 10 percentage points if adding votes from the Kurdish-majority Peoples’ Democratic party or HDP (which ran under the Green Left party) and other socialist parties. Anadolu said 96.39% of ballot boxes had been opened as counting continues.