Voters go to the polls in elections in Turkey

A million people attend an election rally of Muharrem Ince

An global election watchdog has criticized the conditions under which the Turkish election was fought, saying they were skewed in favor of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party.

Although the margin of their lead narrowed steadily as votes were tallied across the nation of 81 million people, an AK Party official said Erdogan was expected to win more than the 50 per cent required to avoid a run-off.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a new mandate in presidential elections in the first round of voting by winning more than half of the votes, the chief of Turkey's election authority said on Monday.

Erdogan won 52.7 percent in Turkish presidential election after 96 percent of votes were counted in Turkey on June 24.

Mr. Erdogan's main presidential rival, Muharrem Ince of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) urged election monitors to remain at polling stations to help ensure against possible election fraud, as final results came in from large cities where his party typically performs strongly. While the outgoing prime minister proudly announced that the election was transparent enough to be a model for other countries, the atmosphere was hardly conducive to a level playing field, considering the opposition's limited access to the media and state resources. Erdogan may be facing rough times ahead, however, because analysts predict an economic downturn for Turkey amid rising inflation and the struggling lira currency. It won 23 percent in the new parliament and the pro-Kurdish HDP almost 12 percent, above the 10 percent threshold needed to win seats.

Critics complained about what they say were unequal campaign conditions with Erdogan dominating media coverage in a country that has been named the world's worst jailer of journalists.

The 64-year-old president, the most popular leader in recent decades, told jubilant, flag-waving supporters there would be no retreat from his drive to transform Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and a candidate to join the European Union.

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Their members faced security problems and the mission had difficulties mostly in Diyarbakır, Ankara and Istanbul, the delegation said, criticizing the government for preventing two of their members from performing their observation mission in Turkey.

Turkey's High Electoral Board declared Erdogan, 64, the victor of Sunday's polls, which usher in a new executive presidential system that was approved in a referendum past year. Then, last year, Erdogan held a referendum on making constitutional changes that would significantly expand executive powers over parliament and the judiciary.

Erdogan supporters celebrate outside his official residence in Istanbul on Sunday. They will continue to "liberate Syrian lands", he said, so that the 3.5 million refugees now living in the country can one day go home.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa. It remains to be seen whether Erdoğan will take this as an opportunity to address the long list of challenges facing Turkey and reconstruct its democracy and economy, and regain the respect that he once enjoyed internationally. That, coupled with high inflation rates and fears that the central bank's independence will be further reduced, has left global investors uneasy after Erdogan's victory. Ince has reportedly secured just 31 percent, despite enormous popular rallies and a seemingly galvanized opposition movement in the lead-up to election day. More than 110,000 government workers have also been dismissed under a state of emergency after the coup. One of the first tests will be on whether to lift emergency rule, which will say a great deal about where Erdoğan and the new parliament stand on the crucial issues of democracy and rule of law.

Separately, Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, said Erdogan was now "all-powerful" and that he "has everything in his hands".

He survived a coup attempt led by a renegade army faction on July 15, 2016, leading to a crackdown on opponents that has been criticized by many in the West.

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