March 3, 2024

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A war of numbers between Erdogan and his opponent in Türkiye

A war of numbers between Erdogan and his opponent in Türkiye

Turkey’s two contenders for power, outgoing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his rival Kemal Kilidaroglu, both say they can win a runoff on May 28 after Sunday’s election, and that now looks vindicated.

• Read more: Türkiye: Erdogan gathers his base ahead of Sunday’s crucial vote

• Read more: Turkey: Erdogan’s opponent throws in the towel three days before presidential election

An Islamic-conservative dictator who had been the country’s leader for twenty years, Mr. Not a victory but certainly not a defeat for Erdoğan, who in the heart of the night declared himself firmly in front of a wave of enthusiastic supporters that “he still has to serve. His country for five years”.

AFP

His rival expressed the same confidence as he assured his camp that he would “absolutely win the second round” arguing that “change is needed in society”.

Rees, 69, says he is “clearly in the lead” in the presidential race, three months after the devastating February 6 earthquake and three months after the crisis and on the eve of an election that drew an unprecedented voter turnout. Election, but ready to “respect” for a second round if necessary.

“We still don’t know if the election is over with this first round, but if the people take us to the second round, we will respect it,” he assured.

This is the first time the 69-year-old head of state has been forced to appear before the electorate for a second term after failing to garner 50% of the vote.

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Opposing him, social democrat Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a 74-year-old former senior civil servant who led an unprecedented coalition of six opposition parties, continued to lead polls despite a narrow lead.

AFP

But he won a total of 45% of the vote as of 03:30 (00:30 GMT) on Monday, according to the official Anadolu Agency, with results covering 95% of the vote.

His camp immediately denied the figures, saying the results of polling booths that were more favorable to the candidate were rigged by the Election Commission (YSK).

“You are standing in the way of Turkey’s will. But you cannot stop what is going to happen, and we will never accept the execution of a mistake,” warned Mr. Kilicadaroglu.

A third candidate, Chinon Ogun, a dissident from the nationalist MHP party, who won about 5% of the vote, is preparing to negotiate with him.

AFP

Later in the evening, the two camps engaged in a battle of numbers, commanding their respective spectators to stay “till the end” at the counting points.

Throughout the day, ballot boxes quickly filled with large mustard-colored envelopes deposited by eager voters, sometimes waiting hours to cast their ballots.

The participation rate, close to 90%, is not officially reported.

The 64 million voters had to elect all 600 representatives who could sit in the one-house parliament in Ankara.

Mr. Erdogan claimed “half” of his camp.

In 2018, during the last presidential election, the head of state won with more than 52.5% of the votes in the first round. Therefore, Mr. The ballot has already caused a setback for Erdogan. A boost to the secular and pro-democracy vision of Kemal Kılıcedaroğlu, leader of the CHP, the party of modern Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

“To put it simply, we want the French Revolution:” equality, liberty, fraternity “, because in these last 20 years, everything has disappeared”, Istanbul Ulvi Aminci, 58, assessed in an upscale district, blue jeans and green arm.

“I say ‘continue’ with Erdogan,” said Nurgan Soyer, wearing a headscarf, in contrast, in front of Erdogan’s polling station on the Asian side.

In the stricken city of Antakya, former Antioch (South) prime minister Mehmet Topaloglu demanded “change: enough is enough.”

AFP

With the support of the pro-Kurdish HDP party, the country’s third political force, Mr. Klisadaroglu presided.

Mr. Erdogan, on the other hand, faced a country crippled by an economic crisis, with the currency halved in two years and inflation exceeding 85% in the fall.

Despite everything, “people have chosen stability and security in this presidential election,” he said.