The Turkish leader said he still hopes to avoid a runoff, but will accept the “national will”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has addressed a huge crowd of his supporters from the balcony of his party’s headquarters in Ankara early Monday morning, saying he believes in a victory in the first round, but unlike his opponents will patiently wait for the final results to be announced.
“We believe we can get above 50% in this round,” Erdogan claimed in a speech shortly after 2am, while acknowledging that “both domestic and overseas voting results will take time to come in.”
“But of course we are not like those who try to deceive the nation… by creating a picture where they are far behind but saying they were ahead,” he added.
With more than 97% of the ballots counted, Erdogan’s initially comfortable lead has fallen to 49.4% – just below the 50% majority needed to avoid a runoff, while his Kilicdaroglu has 45%, according to Anadolu Agency.
“We don’t yet know if the elections ended in the first round… If our nation has chosen for a second round, that is also welcome,” he said, stating that “throughout our political life, without exception, we have always respected the decision of the national will.”
The leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Erdogan’s main rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, previously accused the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party of “blocking the will of Türkiye” by demanding recounts and stalling final thorough verification of the results. The outsider candidate Sinan Ogan also chipped in with claims that his camp has “heard that some manipulations are carried out in the overseas vote counting processes.”
The Supreme Election Council has yet to finalize the count and announce official results. While over 99% of the domestic votes are already counted, more than half of the ballots cast outside of the country were yet to be tallied as of early Monday morning. If no candidate wins at least half of the vote, a run-off will be held on May 28.
May 15, 2023 at 05:46AM