Recep Tayyip Erdogan win presidential polls

Jun 26, 2018, 08:52 IST | Agencies

A night of triumph sees Recep Tayyip Erdogan win presidential polls and five more years in office

Recep Tayyip Erdogan win presidential polls
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan. Pic/AFP

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday celebrated winning five more years in office with sweeping new powers after a decisive election victory, as Turkey's opposition raised bitter questions over the conduct of the polls.

A night of triumph for Erdogan saw the man who has dominated Turkey for the last one-and-a-half-decades declared winner of Sunday's presidential polls without needing a second round and lead his ruling party-led alliance to an overall majority in parliament. Erdogan, whose victory was wider than predicted by many analysts, immediately vowed to "rapidly" implement the new presidential system agreed in an April 2017 referendum that opponents fear will give him autocratic powers.

The president, 64, declared victory in Istanbul before returning to Ankara to deliver a triumphant speech at 3 am to tens of thousands of supporters from the balcony of the headquarters of his Justice and Development Party (AKP). "Turkey has given a lesson in democracy to the entire world," he added, pointing to a turnout of 88 percent.

His main rival Muharrem Ince of the Republican People's Party (CHP) maintained an unusual silence after the results.

In power till 2028?
Erdogan now has a new five-year mandate and, although the president in Turkey can serve only two terms, this will count as Erdogan's first term under the new constitution. Consequently, he could now stay in power until 2028.

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