Erdogan leads in Turkey’s presidential election - preliminary results

Erdogan leads in Turkey’s presidential election - preliminary results

In the parliamentary contest, the AK Party had 53.03 per cent, based on 10.25 per cent of votes counted, the broadcasters said.

She voted for the pro-Kurdish, left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and their presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas - who campaigned from prison after being jailed on terrorism charges his supporters say are bogus - in the hope that they could pass the 10 percent threshold to enter parliament.

Polls across the country of 81 million people officially closed at 5 pm (1400 GMT). The Supreme Electoral Council announced it would investigate an incident in the southern province of Urfa, where observers reported attempts at ballot stuffing.

The votes of Turkey's Kurdish minority will be especially crucial in the parliamentary poll. They have said election law changes and fraud allegations in the 2017 referendum raise fears about the fairness of the June 24 elections.

Voting at Turkish customs gates with adjoining countries, which began on June 7, has also ended. It's the biggest ballot box challenge President Erdoğan has faced since his AK Party swept to power more than a decade and a half ago.

Earlier on Sunday, a crowd of Erdogan's supporters chanted his name as he emerged from a school after voting in Turkey's largest city Istanbul, shaking hands with people amid tight security.

Turkey will also be electing 600 politicians to parliament - 50 more than in the previous assembly.

"I hope for the best for our nation", Ince said as he cast his ballot in his native port town of Yalova south of Istanbul, vowing to spend the night at the headquarters of Turkey's election authority in Ankara to ensure a fair count.

Erdogan called the snap elections, bringing forward a vote that was expected to be held in November 2019.

Turkish voters go to the polls on Sunday in parliamentary and presidential elections. To achieve an outright victory and avoid a second round, Erdogan needs to secure more than 50 percent of the vote.

Erdogan, whose mastery of political rhetoric is acknowledged even by critics, has won a dozen elections, but is now fighting against the backdrop of increasing economic woes.

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.

The stakes in this election are particularly high as the new president will be the first to enjoy enhanced powers under a new constitution agreed in a April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan.

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-demoralised and divided opposition.

A French delegation of Communist party members, including a senator, was arrested in Turkey on Sunday while trying to observe parliamentary and presidential polls there, the party announced.

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