Outgoing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems on track for a new victory at the head of Turkey on Sunday, the evening of the second round of the presidential election which confirms a desire for stability on the part of the population.
According to the official Anadolu agency, after counting more than 95% of the ballots, the head of state in power for twenty years won more than 52% of the votes cast, against less than 48 for his social-democratic rival Kemal Kiliçdaroglu.
Erdogan was the favorite
Despite a strong desire for change from part of the electorate, tired of the economic crisis, restrictions on freedoms and the hyper-presidentialization of a power that has sent tens of thousands of opponents behind bars or in exile, the 69-year-old head of state was the favorite with a five-point lead after the first round on May 14, where he won 49.5% of the vote.
Weary-faced, slow-moving Recep Tayyip Erdogan cast his vote at midday in the Usküdar district on the Asian side of Istanbul: a cheery crowd awaited him there, to whom bodyguards handed out toys while the president slipped some banknotes to children.
High participation rate in the 1st round
In the first round, participation had reached 87%. “No country in the world has participation rates of 90%, Turkey has almost reached them. I ask my fellow citizens to come and vote without weakening,” he argued.
Almost simultaneously, all smiles despite the unfavorable forecasts, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu cast his ballot in Ankara, encouraging his fellow citizens to vote “to get rid of an authoritarian government”.
The two candidates called on their supporters to watch over the ballot boxes until the final results. “Now is the time to protect the will of our nation above our heads until the last moment!” Mr. Erdogan tweeted immediately after the polls closed at 5 p.m. (local).
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