Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s hopes of assuming greater powers suffered a serious blow when the ruling AK Party failed to win an outright majority in a parliamentary election, preliminary results showed.
With 97 percent of ballots counted Sunday, the AKP had taken 40.8 percent of the vote, CNN Turk reported, a result that will leave it struggling to form a stable government for the first time since it came to power more than a decade ago.
“We expect a minority government and an early election,” a senior AKP official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The Turkish lira hit a record low against the US dollar in thin out-of-hours trading as investors, fearing further political uncertainty, positioned themselves for the start of trade Monday.
The atmosphere outside the AKP’s headquarters in Ankara was muted.
Several hundred supporters chanted for Erdogan, the party’s founder, but there was little sign of the massive crowds that gathered under its balcony after past election victories.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was on track to take almost 13 percent of the vote, CNN Turk said.
Thousands of jubilant Kurds flooded the streets of the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, setting off fireworks and waving flags at the prospect of the HDP clearing the threshold to enter parliament for the first time.
HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas ruled out a coalition with the AKP and said election results had put an end to talk of the stronger presidential powers championed by Erdogan.
“The discussion of an executive presidency and dictatorship have come to an end in Turkey,” he told a news conference in Istanbul, describing the outcome as a victory “for those who want a pluralist and civil new constitution”.
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