Turkey’s Ruling Party Claims Local Elections VictoryWorld | March 31, 2014, Monday // 09:35| views
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan casts his vote in Sunday's local elections. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has taken a commanding lead in the country’s local elections.
With just over 60% of the votes counted, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan’s party has 46.8%, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) trails with 27.3%, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Sunday’s local elections in Turkey are seen as a major test for Erdogan’s party, following corruption scandals and security leaks over the past months.
The AKP has a comfortable lead in Istanbul with most of the votes counted, while the CHP has won a landslide victory in Izmir. The result in the capital Ankara will go down to the wire.
"The people have spoken: They said we are here. The montage politics have lost. I thank everyone who prayed for our victory across the world. Of course, it is this people who deserve the biggest thanks. You have protected the independence struggle of the new Turkey. You have supported your prime minister, I thank you infinitely”, Prime Minister Erdogan said as he addressed the celebrating crowd in front of the party headquarters in Ankara.
The elections did not go all too smoothly, with 8 people reportedly killed during clashes between rival supporters. A blackout at another polling station was seen as a deliberate attempt to manipulate the vote.
Turnout was quite high at the elections, with more than 50 million people casting a ballot.
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