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Turkey's ruling AKP wins elections for a third straight term

06-13-2011 08:59 BJT

ANKARA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is poised to win parliamentary elections on Sunday for a third single-party rule as initial results showed it swept around half of national votes.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R), who is also
the chairman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party
(AKP), greets his supporters in Ankara, Turkey, on June 12, 2011.
AKP is poised to win parliamentary elections on Sunday for a
third single-party rule as initial results showed it swept around
half of national votes. (Xinhua/Anatolia News Agency)

Counting of 99.6 percent of the total votes put the AKP's share of votes at 49.9 percent currently, ahead of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) with 25.9 percent, and the second biggest opposition party Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) with 13. 1 percent, Turkish channel NTV reported.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also AKP chairman, said Sunday night that they were pleased with the result, noting that his party received 21 million votes on Sunday, up from 16 million votes in the elections of 2007.

"Today, it was democracy that won. Again, the will of the people won," Erdogan said in a speech to a joyous sea of supporters celebrating their victory at AKP headquarters in Ankara.

He said nobody should doubt the AKP would respect the living styles, beliefs, values, pride and honor of every one, including those who did not vote for them.

Supporters of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) celebrate in Istanbul,
Turkey, on June 12, 2011. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

"Our government will be the government of all Turkish people, not only for the people who voted for AKP," said Erdogan.

Supporters at AKP headquarters cheered and waved flags as they listened to Erdogan's words, while the city's landmark Atakule tower was lit up in color with fireworks bursting in the night sky.

According to the votes, the AKP could collect 325 seats in the parliament, the CHP could get 135 seats and the MHP 54 seats, said the NTV report.

Independent candidates were shown to get 6.6 percent of votes and 36 parliamentary seats, according to NTV.

The AKP raised its share of votes from 46.5 percent in the 2007 elections, but the number of its seats in the parliament decreased from 341 to around 325, mainly due to a decision of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) to redistribute the number of parliamentary seats in each province.

Tarhan Erdem, a prominent pollster, told NTV on Sunday that major parties raised their votes in the elections while small- scale parties received fewer votes.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said Sunday night his party received its highest vote since the military coup of September 1980, proudly announcing that it was the only party that increased the number of its parliamentary deputies in this election.

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