By Sorwar Alam
ANKARA (AA) – EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Monday lauded Turkey’s elections highlighting “very high voter turnout”.
The turnout in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections was around 87 percent. So far, 99.9 percent of votes of Sunday's polls have been counted.
In a joint statement both said turnout and the “broad spectrum of candidates and parties” competing in Sunday’s elections “reaffirmed the strong attachment of the Turkish people to democratic processes and the pursuit of their civil liberties as well as the rule of law and fundamental freedoms”.
The statement also cited the EU’s election observation mission the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) saying “the voters had a genuine choice, but the conditions for campaigning were not equal”.
“We will work with the President and the Parliament to address together the many common challenges ahead of us,” read the statement.
EU officials said Sunday’s elections “trigger the entry into force of the new presidential system”.
The statement also suggested that it would be beneficial if the country urgently addressed certain shortcomings regarding the rule of law and fundamental rights.
Though there was no official congratulations from the EU to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development (AK) Party, the European Commission spokesman had said earlier today that Turkey will hopefully “remain a committed partner” for the EU.
"We hope that under President Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey will remain a committed partner for the European Union on major issues of common interest such as migration, security, regional stability and fight against terrorism,” he said.
According to the Turkish Supreme Election Council, Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.5 percent of the vote, while his closest rival lagged behind at 30.6 percent, with 99.9 percent of ballot boxes opened.
In the parliamentary polls, along with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Justice and Development (AK) Party's election ally, the People's Alliance won 53.6 percent of the votes, with 99.9 percent of ballot boxes opened.