Erdogan re-elected as Turkey takes to the polls
Erdogan comfortably won last night’s presidential elections, gathering 52.6% of the popular vote compared to his closest opponent Ince, who secured 30.6% of the vote. We had perhaps expected a closer result, given Erdogan’s lacklustre campaign and his opponent’s popularity in the press, however Erdogan has done enough to successfully secured himself another five year term.
Despite this, the AKP has lost its majority in the parliament and they will now attempt to form a new government with MHP, their long standing political partner. While the loss of majority will certainly vex Mr. Erdogan, it is unlikely to cause him too much distress. Under the new constitution endorsed by referendum last year, parliament’s powers will be significantly diminished following the election and more power will move directly to the president.
Looking ahead, there are three immediate challenges facing Erdogan on the economic front:
- Determining his fiscal policy, following costly promises made during his campaign
- Installing domestic confidence to reverse capital-flight and increase inward investment
- Establishing a coherent foreign policy to deal with an increasingly vocal US and Europe. Lifting the state of emergency would be a step in the right direction here, however the AKP stated they would keep it in place for as long as needed.
Overall, the fact that elections took place in an orderly fashion without any major incident is good news for Turkey, as some feared there may be widespread irregularities. But the bottom line is that the results have failed to change anything, and the country remains as divided as ever. Perhaps even more so, as Erdogan continues as supreme leader, armed with sweeping new powers bestowed on him by the new constitution.