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Turkey’s AKP wins snap poll by landslide, ending uncertainty

ANKARA, (Xinhua) — Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained on Sunday the majority in the Parliament it lost on the June 7 general elections, signaling voters’ shift away from opposition parties amid fears of instability and surge in terror.

“Electorate favors stability & economic predictability,” Turkish analyst Suat Kiniklioglu commented on AKP’s success in election.

According to the state-run Anadolu News Agency’s initial results based on almost 100 percent of ballots counted, the AKP received 49.4 percent of votes.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 25.4 percent, roughly the same amount it got in election five months ago.

The political party that lost big time is the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) whose votes dropped some 11.9 percent. The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also lost votes with 10.7 percent win, barely exceeding the nationally imposed ten percent threshold to enter into Parliament.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hailed the results as a victory for democracy.

“Today is a victory for our democracy and our people,” he told a crowd of supporters in the province of Konya in central Turkey.

“Today there is no adversary no competitor… there is nobody who got defeated. The nation won,” he said, signaling a conciliatory approach after a tense and polarized campaign period.

More than 54 million Turks that corresponded to 86 percent turnout rate participated in the elections, according to Turkish media.

With this landslide, the AKP is set to gain roughly 316 seats, more than the required 276 to form a government but falls short of the required two-thirds to amend the constitution.

CHP will receive 134 seats while the HDP get 59 and MHP, 41 seats, in the parliament.

Sedat Laciner, another analyst on Turkish politics, also joined Kiniklioglu in his analysis on election outcome, saying “it appears voters have casted their preferences according to fear about terrorism and desire for stability.”

The early election was conducted against the background of renewed clashes between the Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) which had killed hundreds of people since July.

The suicide attacks by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants killed 34 people on July 20 in Suruc town of southern Sanliurfa province bordering neighboring Syria, and 102 in two bombing attacks in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Oct. 10.

After the unofficial results came in, the HDP leaders complained that the election had beeb held under unfair conditions that included violence.

The HDP was subjected to unfair, and unequal conditions during the election campaign, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas claimed in Ankara.

“We waged no campaign. We only tried to save our people from massacres,” he said, referring to cancellation of campaign rallies that had been targeted by suicide attacks.

Almost all pre-election surveys by polling companies have failed to predict the landslide by the AKP.

“We were unsuccessful, we were not able to detect public’s reaction to the opposition and the development in the process (since June 7),” said Ozer Sancer, head of the survey company Metropoll.

Metropoll is considered by many as a reliable pollster as it had successfully predicted past election outcomes.

Laciner believed voters found the MHP leader as uncompromising in politics. “They did not understand what he was up to and neither did I,” he said.

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