Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

President Mamnoon Hussain felicitates Erdogan on victory in elections

Ince with his mother Zekiye at the rally Image Ince with his mother Zekiye at the rally
Laurie Berry | 25 June, 2018, 21:46

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Erdogan on his victory.

Over 56 million eligible voters were for the first time casting ballots in both elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to extend his 15 year grip on power.

With 98 percent of votes counted, Erdogan secured 52.5 percent on Sunday, according to results released by state-run Anadolu Agency.

Election turnout nationwide was very high at around 87 per cent for both contests, the state broadcaster said.

The USD/TRY is on the rise for Monday, up over 1.4% from the day's early low after surprise results from the Turkish election put the incumbent Erdogan back in the seat of power. Under the system, the office of the prime minister is eliminated and executive powers are transferred to the president, who can rule with limited checks and balances.

The president's critics, including the European Union which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a rights watchdog, said high voter turnout, at almost 87 percent, demonstrated Turks' commitment to democracy. Religiously observant Muslims form the bedrock of Erdogan's support.

Six candidates are vying for the Turkish presidency.

He was followed by Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (HDP), at 8.1 percent and debutante right-wing IYI (Good) Party's Meral Aksener, at 7.4 percent. With his sweeping new powers, scrapping the post of prime minister and able to choose ministers and most senior judges, he becomes Turkey's most powerful leader since its founding father Ataturk.

"It is out of the question for us to turn back from where we've brought our country in terms of democracy and the economy", Erdogan said on Sunday night.

Swiss players avoid World Cup ban for eagle celebrations
However, a tense back-and-forth game saw Xhaka level the game in the second half and Shaqiri win it with a 90th-minute goal. However, many fans noticed a symbol that both Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri made to celebrate their respective goals.

Cheering Erdogan supporters waving Turkish flags gathered outside the president's official residence in Istanbul, chanting, "Here's the president, here's the commander".

She and others in the city said they voted for the pro-Kurdish HDP, hoping it would exceed the 10 per cent threshold of votes needed to enter parliament.

Last year, Erdogan narrowly won a referendum to convert the country's parliamentary system to a powerful executive presidency.

Critics say that campaigning took place under deeply unfair conditions, with Erdogan dominating media coverage in the run-up to the vote, and his opponents getting little air time. If the results are confirmed, he would gain broad new powers under the country's new constitution, on top of his already considerable authority.

He also declared victory for the People's Alliance, an electoral cooperation between the Justice and Development Party and the small Nationalist Movement Party, saying they had a "parliamentary majority" in the 600-member assembly.

Opposition parties and NGOs have deployed up to half a million monitors at ballot boxes to ward against possible electoral fraud.

Erdogan has declared himself an "enemy of interest rates", raising fears he will pressure the central bank to cut borrowing costs after the election despite double-digit inflation. And after a failed coup in 2016 arrested tens of thousand of people and fired about 150,000 public servants and soldiers from their jobs.

Bulent Tezcan, the deputy chairman of the CHP, told reporters: "Armed people are openly roaming the streets of Suruc threatening the election atmosphere". Earlier, he accused Anadolu Agency of reporting votes from areas that favored Erdogan to undermine opposition morale.

The state of emergency restricts some freedoms and allows the government to bypass Parliament with decrees.

But he reckoned without Muharrem Ince, the presidential candidate of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), whose feisty performance at campaign rallies has galvanized Turkey's long-demoralized and divided opposition.

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