By Elton Gomes
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won the country’s key presidential vote, which will allow him to keep all the powers that he won in a controversial referendum in 2017 and more.
With this victory, Erdogan will be the first executive president of Turkey as the post of prime minister will now be scrapped, and Erdogan will be able to directly appoint top public officials, including ministers.. After all the votes were counted, Erdogan received 53%, while his rival Muharrem Ince, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), got 31% of the votes. The final results will be announced on Friday.
Sunday’s snap election saw the counting of 99.2% ballots. Voter turnout was reported to be 87 percent. “Our democracy has won, the people’s will has won, Turkey has won,” Erdogan said to a crowd of supporters in Turkey’s capital Ankara, as reported by Al Jazeera. The 64-year-old who has been in power for 15 years in Turkey will see his authority expanded with this new victory.
Turkey’s longest-ruling leader
Erdogan will overtake Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, and become Turkey’s longest-ruling leader. In lieu of the new powers won in the referendum, Erdogan can now contest for a second term as president. If he decides to hold an early election, that will be the third time Erdogan runs as president – which leads to the possibility that Erdogan might stay in power till 2032.
Soner Cagaptay, a scholar and author, terms Erdogan as a “new sultan.” Cagaptay was of the opinion that Turkey’s new parliament will be the most politically diverse in 35 years. Amanda Sloat, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the New York Times that “one of the country’s biggest challenges for the foreseeable future remains the deep polarization of Turkish society.” Sloat claimed that Erdogan’s reliance on the Nationalist Movement Party “means foreign policy will likely remain influenced by nationalist considerations.”
The New York Times further reported that the final exit poll conducted by the Metropole pointed towards a defeat for Erdogan, wherein he might lose control of parliament and be forced into a second round of voting for presidency. However, none of that came true for Erdogan and his supporters – much to the disappointment of several voters in Turkey who thought that “there are a lot of things wrong right now.”
Several voters were discontent with the snap elections and have accused Erdogan of being highly authoritarian in nature. In the midst of a crackdown, Erdogan preponed the dates of the elections that were scheduled for November 3, 2019. Erdogan’s victory might have evinced mixed reactions, but the Turkish president is slated to be in power for a long time.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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