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Turkey Elections: Runoff election called as Erdogan faces biggest challenge from Kilicdaroglu

Turkish President Erdogan has finished ahead of main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu as both frontrunners are preparing to face each other in the runoff.
A couple walks past billboards with the portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and with the portrait of Republican People's Party (CHP) leader and presidential candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu (R) in Sanliurfa, south-eastern Turkey on April 28, 2023. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)
Last Updated: 11 months 1 week ago

ANKARA — Turkey’s incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will face his top rival, main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, in a runoff election on May 28, Turkish officials announced on Monday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will finish the presidential race ahead of his top rival, main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, with both candidates bracing for a runoff poll, according to a statement on Monday by Turkey’s top electoral body.

Ahmet Yener, chair of Turkey’s High Election Council, said that Erdogan received 44.95% of the votes, short of a win in the first round. Yener put the votes that nationalist Sinan Ogan secured at 5.2%, with 99.4% of the ballot boxes having reported their final counts. A runoff on May 28 is highly likely, as neither of the two candidates has secured more than 50% of the vote. Many of the boxes from votes abroad still need to be opened and counted, Yener said.

The announcement Monday morning follows a long night that witnessed rival campaigns of Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu claiming the lead in Sunday’s high-stakes presidential elections.

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