Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party took the lead in Turkey’s municipal elections, despite strong criticism of its authoritarian drift and serious accusations of corruption.
Erdogan proclaimed total victory on Sunday in the municipal elections in Turkey and immediately promised all his enemies to make them “pay the price.”
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Recep Tayyip Erdogan came in top of the presidential election with a score of 52.5 percent after counting more than 99 percent of the polls, and the alliance dominated by his Islamo-conservative party, the AKP, led with 53.61% in the legislative part of the poll.
The AKP’s main competitor, the Social Democrat Muharrem Ince, came in second position in the presidential election with 30.7 percent, and the anti-Erdogan alliance formed by several opposition parties for the legislative elections won 34 percent of the vote, after the partial results published by Anadolu. Muharrem Ince did not comment on the results on Sunday night, calling a press conference for Monday at midday in Ankara.
Sunday’s presidential election is the first since a 2017 referendum that handed the president extraordinary new powers, including the right to form the government, appoint ministers, vice presidents and top bureaucrats, issue decrees, prepare the budget and impose states of emergency.
Critics accuse the 64-year-old Erdogan of autocratic drift, especially since the coup attempt of July 2016, followed by massive purges that hit opponents and journalists and caused Europe’s concern.
With the entry into force of the constitutional reform, Erdogan could potentially remain in power until 2023, or even beyond.
Sunday’s elections were seen by observers as the most difficult for Erdogan since his rise to power, in the face of adverse economic winds and revitalised opposition.