The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has won Turkey’s parliamentary polls, but lost its single-party government, according to the preliminary results released by Turkey’s semi-official news agency.
The country’s pro-Kurdish left-wing Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) crossed the country’s unusually high 10 percent electoral threshold that affected the distribution of seats and, consequently, the power of the ruling party.
The AK Party got 40.8 percent of Sunday’s votes, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) scored 25 percent, with 99.94 percent of the votes counted, preliminary data from the Anatolia news agency showed.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) secured 16.3 percent of the votes, while the HDP won 13.1 percent.
Some 54 million citizens were eligible to vote in the polls, with 86 percent of attendance rate, according to Anatolia’s data.
Anatolia’s data suggested that the AK Party is set to secure 258 MPs, below the 276 seats necessary to form a single-party government in the 550-seat parliament. The CHP, MHP and HDP are projected to secure 132, 81 and 79 seats respectively.
‘Our march will continue’
The AK Party, which currently has 311 seats in parliament, has ruled the country with a single-majority government for the last 13 years.
“Our nation’s decision is final. Respecting this is a responsibility for all political parties,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a public address from AK Party headquarters in Ankara.
“For long marches, 13 years is a short time. There is much more to do. Our blessed march is to continue … We will evaluate the messages to get from the polls and we will continue walking in our way with further determination,” he said.
‘Voters punished AK Party’
Garo Paylan, a HDP candidate from Istanbul who is likely to make his way to the parliament, told Al Jazeera that Turkish voters punished the AK Party’s divisive rhetoric.
“The results show that the citizens of Turkey have expressed their support for the HDP’s language that has been calling for all the citizens of Turkey to live together in harmony,” Paylan said.
“We want all political parties in Turkey to see this picture and make their contributions to form a new culture for all citizens of this country to harmoniously live together. We will work in the parliament for a new constitution for all people to respectfully live together,” he told Al Jazeera.
Thousands of Kurds in the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeastern Turkey have celebrated the unofficial results, setting off fireworks and waving HDP flags.
The political atmosphere was tense in the region before the polls, with bombings targeting the HDP buildings and rallies.
“The election results are a big success for the HDP as it has moved from a Kurdish-oriented party to a party that addresses the whole Turkey. It got votes from liberal voters who previously voted for the AK Party and CHP who wanted to block Erdogan and AK Party,” Deniz Ulke Aribogan, a professor of political science from Istanbul Bilgi University, told Al Jazeera.
“The results show that Turkish citizens want Erdogan to act in line with his position as a neutral president. They don’t want to see him rallying as if he is the leader of the AK Party.”