Related News

Home » World

Ruling AK Party poised to win Turkish elections

TURKS voted yesterday in local elections likely to give Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party a fresh mandate to press on with political and economic reforms in the European Union candidate country.

Voters in the predominantly Muslim country of 72 million people elect mayors and municipal and provincial assemblies, but the vote was seen more as a referendum on the popular Erdogan.

Five people were killed and 93 were wounded in election violence in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey, state news agency Anatolian said.

The AK Party has won three straight elections since 2002. Most opinion polls show it winning the local polls with about 40 percent of the vote despite record unemployment and an economy hit by the economic crisis.

Erdogan has pledged to reform the 1982 military-drafted constitution and change the way the Constitutional Court works, steps that would remove some obstacles to EU membership.

Critics accuse Erdogan of having lost his reformist spirit since Turkey won EU accession talks in 2005.

Erdogan, a former mayor of Istanbul, hopes to wrest the mainly Kurdish southeast from pro-Kurdish parties in what might prove a historic step toward solving a conflict weighing heavily on the country's economic and political development.

"I voted for the AK Party because they are the best for the country and best for the economy. Unemployment is very high here and there is a very young population and we need jobs and development," said Veysel Kaya, 27, in Diyarbakir. Turkey's unemployment rate is at an all-time high of 13.6 percent.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend