Erdogan seeks third term as Turkey goes to the polls in parliamentary elections
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Turkey goes to the polls on Sunday in parliamentary elections widely expected to return the Islamist-based Justice and Development Party, (AKP) to power for a third consecutive term. Polls predict it will win between 45 to 50 per cent of the vote.
The main challenger to the AKP, the Republican People’s Party, (CHP) under the leadership of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, is expected to win 30 per cent of the vote.
Under the AKP, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey saw Gross Domestic Product grow by a spectacular 8.9 per cent in 2010 outpacing global recovery and the party has presided over a doubling of per capita GDP since coming to power in 2002.
The biggest challenge for the AKP is the number of seats it will win to ensure a parliamentary majority enabling it to go ahead with a constitutional overhaul. The AKP needs at least 367 seats in the 550-member house which will allow it to amend the constitution without the support of other parties.
Alongside its economic success, the AKP has developed stronger ties with the Arab world and humbled the once powerful army.
Among a population of some 73 million, more than 50 million voters are eligible to cast their ballot on Sunday in almost 200,000 polling stations across the country.
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