One out of two Turks in Belgium registered on election lists voted

Monday, 25 June 2018 19:19
One out of two Turks in Belgium registered on election lists voted © Belga
Out of some 140,000 Turkish citizens residing in Belgium and registered on election lists, one out of two went to place his candidate’s bulletin in the ballot box for the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections.
The Turkish participation rates in Belgium were respectively 50.83% for the legislative and 51.25% for the presidential elections, according to estimates made available Monday, the day after the vote.

The Turkish community in Belgium has around 250,000 citizens. Among them, some 140,000 had registered beforehand to vote from 15-19 June at the elections held in Turkey Sunday, according to Brussels’s Turkish Embassy figures. Among these registered, one out of two actually voted.

The majority of voters (74.85%) re-elected by plebiscite the outgoing president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while 15% supported his Social-Democrat rival Muharren Ince. As for the HDP, the pro-Kurd party, its candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, obtained 6.6% of Turkish votes in Belgium.

In the legislatives, Mr. Edogan’s Islamic-conservative party (AKP) obtained 64.35% of the “Belgian-Turkish” votes, against 10.6% for Mr. Ince’s non-religious People’s Republican Party (CHP). The Nationalist Action Party (MHP) came third with 9.7% of the votes, followed closely (9.6%) by the left wing and Kurd minority defender People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been at the head of Turkey since 2003, first as Prime Minister, then as President since 2014. Sunday’s votes mark a turning point in the country’s parliamentary history, since the Head of State benefits from enlarged power for this new mandate. Approved by a parliamentary referendum held in 2017, this new presidential regime grants total executive power to the “Reïs” (Head) Erdogan.

Sunday, Mr. Erdogan won in the presidential election’s first round with 52.5% of the votes, after over 99% of the ballots had been counted.

Sarah Johansson
The Brussels Times
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