Erdogan vs. Kilicdaroglu: Runoff election for the presidency in Turkey – so it goes on

Erdogan vs. Kilicdaroglu: Runoff election for the presidency in Turkey – so it goes on

The elections in Turkey are still undecided, but for Erdogan they are already something of a success. Despite the economic crisis, he prevailed against a historically unique party alliance.

The presidential elections in Turkey are entering the second round. Incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu will face each other in a runoff election on May 28. Since Sunday evening, it has seemed almost certain that the nationalist camp could decide.

Did Erdogan win or lose the election?

Both. According to preliminary final results, incumbent Erdogan received the most votes in the presidential election and thus won. However, he narrowly missed the required absolute majority of more than 50 percent. Challenger Kilicdaroglu lacked at least five percentage points. Third-placed Sinan Ogan of the ultra-nationalist Ata Alliance got 5.17 percent. He is eliminated, and only two candidates meet in the runoff.

Why didn’t the opposition candidate prevail?

Kemal Kilicdaroglu stood as a candidate for a party alliance that was unique in Turkey and forged across ideological divides. He presented himself as a reconciler, but above all as a candidate against Erdogan, who agitated against the opposition and his critics during the election campaign. This strategy has not worked, at least for the time being. According to Sinem Adar from the Science and Politics Foundation, Kilicdaroglu has lost parts of the nationalist camp through its rapprochement with the pro-Kurdish HDP party. Statements by Erdogan, who equated this with support for “terrorists,” apparently had fruit. Now the CHP is in a dilemma: he can only win the votes of the ultra-nationalist Sinan Ogan at the expense of those of the Kurdish camp.

What’s next?

It is the first time in Turkey’s history that there will be a run-off election for the presidency. The country’s 61 million voters are again called on May 28 to put their stamp on one of the two candidates. The 3.4 million eligible voters abroad must also go to the polls again.

Who is Sinan Ogan?

Ogan ran as the presidential candidate of a far-right coalition of secular nationalists. In the elections, he received significantly more votes than expected. Observers see this as a frustrated reaction from nationalist voters, who could now decide the election in the second round. However, Ogan’s voters are said to be fragmented. Among them there are both former Erdogan supporters and those more inclined to the opposition.

For an election recommendation, Ogan demands concessions from the candidates in the runoff. Among other things, he wants an assurance that refugees will be removed from the country.

Who did Parliament go to?

There are still no preliminary final results for the election of the parliament. According to the state news agency, the alliance around Erdogan still holds its majority. It is expected to have fewer seats than in the previous government period, but an absolute majority.

Parliament was severely disempowered under Erdogan. Still, the AKP could use its majority there to block Kilicdaroglu if he wins the runoff.

Who has better chances in the runoff election?

There are no official forecasts yet. Among other things, it will be decisive how the voters of Ogan decide, who does not go into the runoff. It also depends on how many voters Kilicdaroglu can mobilize again after the disappointment of a first quasi-defeat, which came unexpectedly for many of his supporters.

Observers assume that the majority in parliament could set the tone for how the vote will go in two weeks. Should Parliament and the President block each other, there is a risk of a government crisis.

How did other countries, how did Germany vote?

Among the Turkish people who are entitled to vote in Germany, a clear majority for Recep Tayyip Erdogan is once again emerging in the presidential election. With almost 98 percent of the ballot boxes counted from Germany, the incumbent accounted for almost two-thirds of the votes, according to figures from the state news agency Anadolu on Monday. Erdogan is likely to do much better in Germany than in the election overall.

Were the elections fair?

So far, the results have not been seriously questioned, neither by the opposition nor by election observers. However, the observer mission of the Council of Europe and the OSCE complained that Turkey did not meet the requirements for democratic elections. The elections took place under very unequal conditions: Erdogan and his AKP control most of the country’s media. In fact, their interpretation of things occurs much more frequently. There were also major inequalities between the government and the opposition when it came to the distribution of electoral funds. The pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP, for example, was threatened with a ban until shortly before the election, which was classified internationally as politically motivated.

Source: Stern

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