The Justice and Development (AK) Party clinched victory after securing around 49 percent of votes in Turkey’s 26th general election Sunday, according to preliminary results based on 95.12 percent of counted votes.
Electoral committees across the country’s 81 provinces, divided into 85 voting districts (Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir provinces have multiple districts), started the vote count after polls closed at 5 p.m. local time.
According to preliminary results compiled by Anadolu Agency, the number of ballots opened so far as of 8.35 p.m. local time is 174,554 out of 183,518 across Turkey, which corresponds to 95.12 percent of the ballots.
AK Party leads with 49.46 percent votes (316 parliamentary seats), followed by Republican People’s Party (CHP) with 25.27 percent (133 seats).
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) got 11.97 percent votes (42 seats), while the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) secured only 10.34 percent (59 seats), which is just above the election threshold requirement of 10 percent.
The preliminary voter turnout across Turkey stood at 86.76 percent.
The preliminary results were released after Turkey’s Supreme Election Board lifted a broadcast ban at 7 p.m. local time.
More than 54 million Turks were eligible to vote in a poll to elect 550 deputies to the Grand National Assembly.
A total of 183,518 polling stations opened and nearly a million Turks living abroad cast their ballots at 113 embassies and consulates.
The vote was conducted under the closed list proportional representation system and was overseen by observers from civil society groups and political parties as well as international monitors.
Of the 16 parties registered to contest the election, preliminary results suggest four parties could pass the 10 percent threshold to gain seats in the assembly.
Following the June 7 election, the AK Party returned as the largest party with 258 seats; CHP came second with 132 seats while the MHP and HDP won 80 seats each. A deputy from both the CHP and MHP later became independents.
According to the Supreme Election Council, the percentage share of the national vote in June was 40.87 percent for the AK Party, 24.95 percent for the CHP, 16.29 percent for the MHP and 13.12 percent for the HDP. Turnout was 83.92 percent in Turkey and 32.5 percent among overseas voters.
Sunday’s vote is being held as no party won an overall majority and coalition talks failed to produce a government by the 45-day deadline initiated when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Prime MInister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a government on July 9.
A caretaker government was formed by Davutoglu on Aug 28 after a snap election was announced by Erdogan a day earlier.