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Turkey heads to runoff elections between Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu

Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his top rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu will face each other in the runoff on May 28 after a knife-edge race on Sunday.
People walk past under the posters of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the presidential candidate of the Main Opposition alliance and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Taksim Square on May 10, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. On May 14th, Turkey’s President Erdogan will face his biggest electoral test as the country goes to the polls in the country’s general election. Erdogan has been in power for more than two decades -- first as prime minister, than as president -- but his popularity has recently taken a hit due to

ANKARA —  Turkey’s incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will face main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in a runoff election on May 28 after neither candidate crossed the 50% threshold in the first round on Sunday. 

Turkey’s High Election Board announced the unofficial results on Monday afternoon local time. The board's head Ahmet Yener said that Erdogan received 49.51% of the votes, finishing the race nearly five percentage points ahead of Kilicdaroglu, whose vote share stood at 44.88%. Far-right fringe candidate Sinan Ogan, meanwhile, received 5.17% of the vote.

In televised remarks, Yener announced that campaigning for the runoff has opened. He added that the counting of absentee ballots was still ongoing but that the remaining uncounted ballots couldn’t take any frontrunners across the threshold.

Voting at home witnessed a higher turnout at 88.92% than the previous parliamentary and presidential elections, according to the initial figures. The official results will be announced on Friday.

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