Confirm that there will be a second round

(CNN) — Turkey’s Supreme Election Council announced on Monday that it would hold a second round of presidential elections on May 28, after candidates failed to get more than 50% of the vote in Sunday’s runoff.

The candidates in direct conflict are the country’s current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Both received the highest percentage of votes in the elections, with Erdogan close to 50% but not exceeding that threshold, so a second round is necessary to determine the winner. A third candidate, Sinan Ogan, was far behind in the race.

The head of Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council, Ahmet Yener, has promised that the votes to be counted abroad this Monday will not be enough for one of the two candidates to pass the 50% barrier.

All the polls in the country have already opened and the participation rate is 88.92%, according to Yener, who released the updated vote count to date, which is as follows:

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 49.51%
  • Kemal Kilicdaroglu: 44.88%
  • Sinon Ogan: 5.17%
  • Muharram Ins: 0.44%

Earlier, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported projections based on 97.95% of the votes counted, with Erdoğan winning 49.34%, compared to 44.99% for Klikdaroglu. Ogan was third with just 5%.

With the runoff already confirmed, the official final results of the Turkish elections will be announced this Friday, Yener said.

This Sunday’s election is Erdogan’s biggest challenge to date. The Turkish leader is facing financial problems and criticism that the impact of the devastating earthquake on February 6 has been compounded by lax building regulations and chaotic recovery efforts.

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His main opponent is Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which represents an electoral coalition of six opposition parties. For the first time, the Turkish opposition is united around a single candidate.

Meanwhile, Ogan, who came in third place, has great power for the second round as it could give him a decisive advantage in the second round if he decides to sign an alliance with one of the two leading candidates.

“We have some red lines (to support any candidate) like fighting terrorism and taking back refugees. We have expressed these conditions before,” Ogun told Reuters in a video interview.

“If we decide to stay with a coalition, a protocol will be signed with them and we will verbalize that no concessions will be made regarding the (pro-Kurdish) People’s Democratic Party,” Ogun said.

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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