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Erdogan rival faces uphill struggle in Turkey runoff

Kilicdaroglu's six-party alliance scored under 45 percent and must gain a lot of ground
— Istanbul (AFP)

Turkey's secular opposition leader may have succeeded in forcing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan into his first ever runoff, but his chances of winning on May 28 are remote.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu was predicted to perform well in Sunday's first round but ended up with just under 45 percent while Erdogan fell fractionally short of the 50-percent threshold required for an outright victory.

His six-party alliance now needs to accomplish seemingly impossible electoral gymnastics to unseat Erdogan, who needs just a sliver of extra support to extend his two decades in power to 2028.

"The second round will be easier for us," Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday. "There is a difference of five points, close to 2.5 million votes. It seems there is no possibility of this closing."

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