…No candidate secured more than 50% of the vote, pushing Turkey into a second round – and uncharted territory.
Turkey’s high-stakes presidential election is headed for a run-off vote, Turkey’s electoral chief Ahmet Yener, has said, citing official results from the country’s Supreme Election Council.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan garnered 49.5 per cent of Sunday’s vote, shopping for 0.5 per cent to avoid run-off.
His main challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, got 44.89 per cent, the Council said.
As neither secured more than 50 per cent vote, they will face off in a second round on May 28.
This is the third time that Turks directly voted for a president.
Erdogan won both previous elections outright in the first round.
Sinan Ogan from ATA Alliance, the third candidate, received 5.17 per cent.
Muharrem Ince of the Homeland Party came fourth with 0.44 per cent.
Ince withdrew from the race, just three days before the elections, but his name remained on the ballot.
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In particular, the vote for Ogan, kingmaker or spoiler, pushed the race into a run-off.
The Turkish news agency published preliminary results that showed AK Party won 266 seats, while the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 166 seats in the 600-seat parliament.
The polls were held against a background of a cost-of-living crisis that saw inflation peak at 85 per cent in October and earthquakes in February that killed more than 50,000 in the country.
These factors buoyed opposition hopes of unseating a leader known as reis, or “chief”, by supporters of the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The 2023 elections also took on extra significance merely due to the date, that marks Centenary of Republic of Turkey.
The country’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk also established the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which governed under a largely one-party system for 27 years. (Aljazeera)
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