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Turkey votes in parliamentary election that could mean new powers for Erdogan


Turkey

Turkey votes in parliamentary election that could mean new powers for Erdogan

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erogan was among the 54 million voters going to the polls on Sunday in what is expected to be the closest parliamentary election for more than a decade.

The ruling Justice and Development AK party, which he used to lead, is hoping to extend the majority it has enjoyed for the last 13 years.

If it gains two thirds of the 550 seats on offer it is expected to push through changes to the Turkish constitution that will replace the parliamentary system with a US style presidential model handing Erdogan considerably more powers.

But the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) led by Selahattin Demirtaş, could upset those plans.

Polls suggest the HDP could make the 10 percent of the vote share required to take vital seats away from the AKP.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have arrived to monitor the election.

50 parliamentarians from 20 countries will assess the election against democratic commitments contained in the OSCE’s 1990 Copenhagen Document.

The vote comes amid high tensions following bombings on Friday during an HDP rally that killed two people and around 200 others.

The prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, announced on the day of the vote that a bombing suspect has been detained.

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