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Support Slips For Turkey's Ruling Party

June 07, 2015

Preliminary results from Turkey's parliamentary election suggest the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could lose its simple majority in Parliament.

With nearly all of the votes counted, Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, the AKP, led all other parties with 40.8 percent of support. That would give it 258 seats in Turkey's 550-member parliament, less than the 274 seats required to maintain the single-party government it has led since 2002.

The results are seen as a defeat for AKP, which has been hoping to secure enough support in the June 7 election to amend the constitution to bolster the power of the president.

The main Kurdish party, HDP, garnered 13 percent of the vote -- above the 10 percent minimum threshold for representation and giving it 79 seats, broadcaster CNN Turk cited the election commission as saying.
Turkey's Election: Why It Was All About Erdogan

The vote comes amid high tensions after bombings on June 5 during a HDP rally killed 2 people and wounded scores.

On June 7, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a suspect had been detained in the case, but provided no other details.

Davutoglu said later in the day that AKP was the clear winner in the election and vowed to take any necessary measures to ensure political stability in Turkey.

'Everyone should see that the AKP is the winner and leader of these elections,' Davutoglu told supporters in a speech from the balcony of the party's headquarters in Ankara. 'No one should try to build a victory from an election they lost.'

The pro-Kurdish HDP, meanwhile, said it would not form coalitions with Erdogan's party.

'As we have already said, we will not form a coalition with the AKP. The HDP has become a real political party in Turkey. The AKP has lost Turkey's eastern provinces because of its statements on the Kurdish settlement,' HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas said.

In the mainly Kurdish city Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey, massive celebrations erupted on the streets, where people set off fireworks, danced, and shouted anti-Erdogan slogans while waving Kurdish flags.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa, and TASS


Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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