Tuesday, June 9, 2015

TURKEY: Election Sinks Islamist's Hold on Power as Pro-Kurdish Party Clears Threshold to Enter Parliament

Turkish voters dealt a major setback to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s campaign to consolidate power in an election Sunday that ended his Islamist-rooted government’s 13-year majority rule.
For Mr. Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for a decade with a populist but polarizing message, the result marked the most stunning rebuke of his career: scuttling his bid to win a constitution-changing majority to further centralize power.
All three opposition parties clubbed together to oppose Mr. Erdogan’s plans to shift Turkey, a key U.S. ally, from a parliamentary to a presidential system—a move he argued would increase government efficiency, but which they said would be a step toward dictatorship.
Turkish President Erdogan voted Sunday
The vote also marked the start of an uncertain period of a coalition- or minority-led government. That prospect immediately rattled markets, sending the lira tumbling almost 4% to a record low of 2.75 against the dollar, as investors recalled decades past when short-lived multiparty governments led Turkey between recurrent economic crises.
Provisional ballot results showed the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, falling short of the votes needed to maintain its three-term stronghold in parliament. The party, which Mr. Erdogan led until his election to the nonpartisan presidency last August, secured less than 41% of the vote, according to state media, down from almost 50% in the previous general election.
Supporters wave Kurdish flags as they celebrate election.
That tally, the party’s weakest since sweeping to power in 2002, fell 18 seats short of the 276 needed to form a single-party government in Ankara’s 550-member parliament. While the figures hadn’t yet been confirmed by the electoral commission, all three opposition parties said they wouldn’t partner with the AKP in a coalition.
Read the rest of the story HERE and find related videos and link to a related story below:

Kurds Celebrate Party’s Entry Into Turkish Parliament

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