Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won a critical parliamentary election, regaining the majority it lost in June.
With almost all ballots counted, state-run Anadolu Agency said AKP had won 49.4% of the vote, with the main opposition CHP on 25.4%.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the result was a “victory for our democracy and our people”.
The pro-Kurdish HDP crossed the 10% threshold needed to claim seats.
The nationalist MHP will also take seats in Ankara.
Polls had indicated the AKP would receive only between 40-43% of the vote, in line with how it fared in June, when it lost its majority for the first time in 13 years.
Attempts to form a coalition government after the June election failed.
Turkey election results
seats in parliament for Justice and Development Party (AKP)
134 for Republican People’s Party (CHP)
59 for People’s Democratic Party (HDP)
41 for Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)
With almost all of the results counted, the AKP won substantially more than the 276 seats needed to win a majority, allowing it to form a government on its own.
However, it falls short of the amount of seats needed to call a referendum on changing the constitution and increasing the powers of the president, AKP founder Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The AKP’s opponents had said the vote was a chance to curb what it sees as the increasingly authoritarian tendencies of Mr Erdogan.
They’re savouring a victory here at the AKP headquarters that exceeded all expectations. To push for a second election in five months was a huge gamble by the party – and it paid off.
How did it happen? The party narrative was clear: only it could provide stability and eliminate the violence of the past few months. After attacks by the PKK Kurdish militants and the growing threat of Islamic State, Turks voted for a party they believed could return the country to calmer waters. The far-right MHP, which rejected a coalition last time, was crushed. And the pro-Kurdish HDP party was hit hard by the AKP’s attempts to link it to the militants.
Critics say the campaign of violence was orchestrated by the AKP, to scare Turks into submission. The party rejects it. But many did finally cast their ballots out of fear.
Ultimately this is a country that doesn’t like coalitions. They’re associated with a fraught past – of coups and financial crises. Recep Tayyip Erdogan knows his nation likes strongman rule. And that is how they voted.
Since elections in June, a ceasefire between the Turkish army and militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) collapsed after a suicide bombing in July by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants.
The attack near the border with Syria killed more than 30 Kurds.
Turkey then suffered its deadliest attack in its modern history when more than 100 people were killed after a peace rally in Ankara attended by mainly left-wing demonstrators, including many HDP supporters, was targeted by two suicide bombers.
The government said they were linked to IS.
Image copyright AP Image caption Violence was reported in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir on Sunday evening
Critics have accused Mr Erdogan of renewing violence to curb support for the HDP – something the government denies.
One senior official from the HDP told Reuters the partial results were “disappointing”.
The HDP won 10.7% of the vote – enough to give it 59 parliamentary seats, 21 fewer than it claimed in June’s election.
The party cancelled rallies following the Ankara attack, and its co-chairman Selahettin Demirtas said on Sunday that it had not been “a fair or equal election”.
Clashes were reported in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir as the results were being counted. Reuters said police fired tear gas at protesters throwing stones.
Last week, the offices of the opposition media group Koza-Ipek were raided by police after the government’s seizure of its assets.
The raid is the latest in an operation to crack down on followers of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen that has been under way since December 2013, when corruption allegations against allies of Mr Erdogan emerged.
Source: BBC Africa