Turkey’s presidential election will be determined in a run-off election.
The supreme election council has confirmed that Turkey’s powerful president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will face off against his opposition competitor in a run-off vote.
According to the chairman, Mr Erdogan won the first round with 49.51% of the vote.
Despite having a substantial lead over his major competitor, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who received 44.88% of the vote, he required more than half of the vote to win the race outright.
A second round will be held on May 28, with Mr Erdogan clearly the favorite.
Shortly before the announcement by election council chief Ahmet Yener, the president’s opponent urged supporters not to “fall into despair” and to stand and fight the election together.
However, it was not immediately clear how the opposition Nation Alliance could close a nearly five-point gap in just two weeks. Although the third candidate, ultranationalist Sinan Ogan, received 5.17% of the vote, it appeared doubtful that all of his supporters would convert to the opposition led by the centre-left.
Mr Erdogan has been in charge in Turkey for over 20 years, first as prime minister and then as president, expanding his powers even further following a failed coup attempt in 2016.
Many surveys predicted that his opponent would win the first round, and Erdogan supporters partied outside the party offices in Ankara late into the night.
He told them from the balcony that he had received 2.6 million more votes than his main challenger.