2 Nov 2015

Turkish AKP regains majority with critical vote

1:31 pm on 2 November 2015

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won a critical parliamentary election, regaining the majority it lost in June.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Photo: AFP

With almost all ballots counted, state-run Anadolu Agency said AKP had won 49.4 percent of the vote, with the main opposition CHP on 25.4 percent.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the result a "victory for our democracy and our people".

The pro-Kurdish HDP crossed the 10 percent threshold needed to claim seats.

The nationalist MHP will also take seats in Ankara.

Polls had indicated the AKP would receive only between 40-43 percent of the vote, in line with how it fared in June, when it lost its majority for the first time in 13 years.

Attempts to form a coalition government after the June election failed.

With most of the results counted, the AKP won substantially more than the 276 seats needed to get a majority, allowing it to form a government on its own.

However, it fell 14 seats short of the amount needed to call a referendum on changing the constitution and increasing the powers of the president, AKP founder Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And with 60 more seats, the government would have been able to bring in those changes without a referendum.

The AKP's opponents had said the vote was a chance to curb what it sees as the increasingly authoritarian tendencies of Mr Erdogan.

Since elections in June, a ceasefire between the Turkish army and militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party collapsed after a suicide bombing in July by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants.

The attack near the border with Syria killed more than 30 Kurds.

Turkey then suffered its deadliest attack in its modern history when more than 100 people were killed after a peace rally in Ankara attended by mainly left-wing demonstrators, including many HDP supporters, was targeted by two suicide bombers.

The government said they were linked to IS.

Critics have accused Mr Erdogan of renewing violence to curb support for the HDP - something the government denies.

One senior official from the HDP told Reuters the partial results were "disappointing".

The HDP won 10.7 percent of the vote - enough to give it 59 parliamentary seats, 21 fewer than it claimed in June's election.

The party cancelled rallies following the Ankara attack, and its co-chairman Selahettin Demirtas said on Sunday that it had not been "a fair or equal election".

Clashes were reported in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir as the results were being counted. Reuters said police fired tear gas at protesters throwing stones.

Last week, the offices of the opposition media group Koza-Ipek were raided by police after the government's seizure of its assets.

The raid is the latest in an operation to crack down on followers of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen that has been under way since December 2013, when corruption allegations against allies of Mr Erdogan emerged.