Türkiye presidential election heads to possible runoff with most votes counted



Türkiye is heading toward a likely runoff presidential election as neither candidate looks set to surpass the 50-percent threshold of the votes needed to win outright, according to preliminary results.

The head of Türkiye's High Election Board, Ahmet Yener, said early on Monday that incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was leading Sunday's presidential elections with 49.49 percent, with 91.93 percent of ballot boxes counted, while Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Erdogan's main rival, had 44.49 percent of votes.

Addressing supporters on Monday as votes were still being counted, Erdogan said he would respect the people's decision if the presidential vote goes to a runoff.

"We don't know yet whether the election will be over in the first round, but if people take us to a second round, we will respect that too," Erdogan told his supporters, adding that his ruling conservative alliance had won a "majority" in parliament.

Early on Monday, Türkiye's opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu also said he would accept the people's decision for a second round, adding Erdogan had not obtained the result he wanted in Sunday's elections.

Speaking alongside leaders of the other parties in his alliance, Kilicdaroglu told supporters he will win in the runoff against Erdogan.