Erdogan’s win as Turkey President will give him sweeping powers.
Istanbul: In an election that was keenly watched in Europe, Turkey’s long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan today won the country’s presidential poll in the first round itself.
According to election authority chief Sadi Guven, the president “received the absolute majority of all valid votes.” However, he did not give any details.
State media reports said Erdogan on 53% with 99% of votes counted. His closest rival Muharrem Ince on 31%.
The polls were the most fiercely-fought in many years, and Erdogan is set to assume sweeping powers under a new executive presidency.
He will assume major new powers under Turkey’s new constitution. The changes were endorsed in a tight referendum last year by 51% of voters, and are due to come into force after the election.
Directly appointing top public officials, including ministers and vice-presidents
The power to intervene in the country’s legal system
The power to impose a state of emergency
The job of prime minister will also be scrapped.
Some critics argue the enhanced role will place too much power in one person’s hands, and that Turkey’s new system lacks the checks and balances of other executive presidencies like France or the US.
However, Erdogan maintains his increased authority will empower him to address Turkey’s economic woes and defeat Kurdish rebels in the country’s south-east.
Erdogan was prime minister for 11 years before becoming president in 2014. Under the new constitution, he could stand for a third term when his second finishes in 2023, meaning he could potentially hold power until 2028.