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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Türkiye opposition claims vote count ‘manipulations’

Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the ruling AK Party of “blocking the will of Türkiye”

The leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has urged the Supreme Election Council to act “responsibly” and hurry up with the release of the presidential election results, claiming that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is “blocking the will of Türkiye.”

“My dear nation, they are blocking the system with repeated objections at ballots where we have higher votes,” Kilicdaroglu told reporters at party headquarters in Ankara on Sunday night.

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“You cannot prevent what will happen through objections. We will not allow a fait accompli,” he said, according to Al Jazeera.

Erdogan’s AK Party in turn accused the rival candidate of “an attempt to assassinate the national will,” with spokesperson Omer Celik calling the opposition’s claims “irresponsible.”

The outsider candidate, Sinan Ogan, also chipped in with claims that his camp has “heard that some manipulations are carried out in the overseas vote counting processes.”

“We will not allow a fait accompli with a manipulation of foreign votes. Do not stress the environment. This is up to the second round,” Ogan tweeted.

The chairman of the Supreme Election Council, Ahmet Yener, dismissed accusations from the opposition that it was delaying the results, saying earlier on Sunday that the data is being entered into the system and shared with media and political parties “instantaneously.”

The election body has yet to finalize the count and announce the official results, but if no candidate wins at least half of the vote, a run-off will be held on May 28.

With more than 96% of the ballots counted, Erdogan’s initially comfortable lead has fallen to 49.4% – just below the 50% majority needed to avoid a runoff, according to Anadolu. His main opposition rival, Kilicdaroglu, has 44.9%, while Sinan Ogan is a distant third with 5.3%.

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While the majority of the domestic votes are already counted, most of the ballots cast outside of the country are yet to be tallied. The breakdown may also change depending on how the election body deals with the votes cast for Muharrem Ince, who had withdrawn from the race but nevertheless received around 0.5%.