Date
20 January 2017
AKP supporters gather near the residence of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to celebrate their party's election victory on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
AKP supporters gather near the residence of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to celebrate their party's election victory on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

AKP wins Turkey elections in boost for Erdogan

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept to victory in elections on Sunday, returning the country to single-party rule in an outcome that will boost the power of President Tayyip Erdogan.

With almost all ballots counted, the AKP had taken just shy of 50 percent of the votes, comfortably enough to control a majority in the 550-seat parliament, Reuters reported.

The margin of victory was higher than what even party insiders had expected.

“Today is a victory for our democracy and our people … Hopefully we will serve you well for the next four years and stand in front of you once again in 2019,” Prime Minister and AKP leader Ahmet Davutoglu told cheering supporters.

He urged all political parties to work together on a new constitution, which Erdogan has said he would like to see include executive powers for the presidency.

A senior official from the main CHP opposition, which had calculated on ‘reining in’ Erdogan’s influence with a coalition government, described the result as “simply a disaster”.

In June, the AKP, which was founded by Erdogan, lost the overall majority it had enjoyed since 2002.

Erdogan had presented Sunday’s polls as a chance to restore stability at a time of tension over Kurdish insurrection and a fight against Islamic State militants.

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