President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a decisive victory in the Turkish parliamentary election, with his Justice and Development Party (AKP) winning a majority of seats and defeating the other three opposition parties.
With 98 per cent of the vote counted, the AKP had won 49.4 per cent and 316 seats in the 550 seat parliament, a far better performance than predicted by the polls. These had mostly forecast that the AKP would fail to win back the majority it lost in the last election on 7 June.
“Today is a victory for our democracy and our people … Hopefully, we will serve you well for the next four years and stand in front of you once again in 2019,” Prime Minister and AKP leader Ahmet Davutoglu said last night.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had a surprisingly sharp fall in its vote from 13 per cent in the last election, which denied the AKP its majority, to bring it dangerously close to the 10 per cent threshold below which it would lose all its members of parliament. This would have left Turkey’s Kurdish minority, with its long history of confrontation with the state, without any effective parliamentary representation.
As president, Mr Erdogan is theoretically above the political fray, but has clearly directed the AKP’s strategy which has confounded all forecasts. These had strongly suggested a repeat of the stalemate of the last election and the likelihood of a coalition government or even a third election.
Leave a Reply