The incumbent wins by five points, with nine out of ten ballot boxes voting
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ahead in the runoff with Kemal Kildaroglu, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported on Sunday. Erdogan failed to secure a majority in the first round of elections but looks set to beat his pro-Western challenger handily this time around.
On Sunday, Turquier voted for the second time in two weeks in a runoff that will determine whether Erdogan remains in power or is ousted by his more liberal opponent.
As of Sunday night, Erdogan led with 52.5 percent of the vote to Kilicdaroglu’s 47.5 percent, with 93 percent of ballot boxes open, Anadolu news agency reported.
Turnout was down slightly from the first round on May 14, when 85 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Two weeks ago, the recorded turnout was close to 90%.
Erdogan won 49.5 percent of the vote on May 14, compared with Kilicdaroglu’s 44.8 percent. As neither candidate crossed the 50% threshold, a runoff election was declared and third-place candidate Sinan Ogan, who received 5% of the vote, was eliminated.
Ogun backed Erdogan last week. His voters, however, are not unanimous in their support for the incumbent, with Kilicdaroglu appearing to be evenly cast on Sunday.
Erdogan, a social conservative, has been president since 2014 after 11 years as prime minister. Under his leadership, Turkey has sought closer trade and diplomatic ties with Russia and China, while positioning itself as a potential peacemaker in regional conflicts, including in Ukraine.
Domestically, Erdogan responded to a failed coup attempt in 2016 by strengthening the power of his own office, while overturning a longstanding ban on religious headscarves in public institutions and reclassifying Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia as a mosque. Attract conservative Muslim voters.
Kilicdaroglu is a centrist who has sought to undo many of Erdogan’s domestic reforms, especially the post-2016 constitutional reforms. If elected, he has vowed to immediately restart EU accession talks, repair relations with Turkey’s NATO ally and revive the country’s flagging economy.
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