Ankara, June 24 : Turkish voters are going to polls to to decide whether to grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a second five-year term and for a new Parliament.
This elections is considered as the most fiercely fought elections for Erdogan and his Islamist rooted AK party that has ruled Turkey for 15 years.
Erdogan is facing major challenge from Muharrem Ince from the main opposition Republican People’s Party as country’s economic condition has worsened and national security is also one of the main electoral issue.
If Erdogan is elected , democracy will be weakened as he narrowly won a referendum last year to convert the country’s parliamentary system to a powerful executive presidency.Whoever wins will be given sweeping new powers, as the role of Prime Minister is dissolved and the President gains the authority to issue laws by decree.
He implemented policies that encouraged sustained economic growth and development, challenged Turkey’s secular foundations by bringing Islamic conservatism to public life and gutted public institutions by having tens of thousands of people arrested following a failed military coup in 2016.
There are a total of 56,322,632 registered voters with 180,065 ballot boxes across the country.
Voting started at 8 a.m. and will continue till 5.00 p.m and voters are casting two separate ballot papers in the same envelope — one for the presidential and one for the parliamentary elections.
After the voting ends, ballots cast for the presidential candidates will be counted first.
Some 1.49 million expats voted in a 13-day period between June 7-19 at 123 Turkish missions abroad.
Six candidates are running for president: incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the People’s Alliance formed by the Justice and Development (AK) Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Muharrem Ince from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Selahattin Demirtas for Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Meral Aksener for the newly formed Good (IYI) Party, Temel Karamollaoglu for the Felicity (Saadet) Party, and Dogu Perincek for the Patriotic (Vatan) Party, Anadolu reported.
If none of the candidates gain a clear majority, Turkey will hold a run-off presidential vote on July 8
For the parliamentary polls, eight political parties are in the fray.