Turkey in Anticipation of General Election Results as Polling Stations Close

Southeast Europe | June 7, 2015, Sunday // 18:14|  views

A man casts his vote at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey on 07 June 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES.

Turkey is in anticipation of the results from the country’s 25th general elections, which were held on Sunday.

The polling stations closed at 5 p.m. local time, and electoral committees across the country’s 85 voting districts have started the counting of the votes.

More than 53 million people were eligible to participate in the general elections, which are to elect the 550 representatives of the unicameral Grand National Assembly under the closed list proportional representation system.

There were 174 240 polling stations in total, with nearly one million Turks living abroad voting at 122 embassies and consulates, Anadolu Agency reports.

The elections were monitored by civil society groups and political parties as well as international observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe.

A total of 20 registered parties contested the elections, but according to opinion polls only four parties hold chances of passing the 10 % electoral threshold.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in power since 2002, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are all expected to pass the electoral threshold without major problems.

It remains unclear whether the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) will enter parliament for the first time as a party, which will be also decisive for determining the future of the country's political system.

AKP is aiming to gain 330 seats, which will be necessary for initiating constitutional changes that could turn Turkey into a presidential republic with far-reaching powers for President Recep Erdogan.

In the days prior to the elections, HDP was subject of physical attacks with one of its campaign bus drivers murdered on June 3, while three of its supporters were killed by two bomb explosions at a rally in the province of Diyarbakir on Friday.

The violence against opposition parties and their accusations of fraud during the counting process have led to heightened security measures with the government mobilising 404 000 security personnel on election day.

No major incidents have been reported during the election day except for a brawl between party representatives at a polling station in the province of Sanliurfa, which left fifteen people injured, Hurriyet Daily News informs.

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Tags: turkey, general elections, parliament, presidential republic, Recep Erdogan, AKP, CHP, MHP, HDP


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