Ankara:  Presidential hopeful and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to become Turkey’s first elected president.

Erdogan, head of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), led Sunday’s presidential polls with 51.8 percent of votes, xinhua reported citing the NTV news channel.

Turkey’s election law says any candidate who wins more than half the vote claims an outright victory in the presidential race.

The prime minister’s two opponents were Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) joint candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who received 38.5 percent votes, and People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) candidate Selahattin Demirtas, who collected 9.8 percent votes, NTV said.

Voting turnout stood at 73 percent, which is below expectation, according to the country’s semi-official Anatolia news agency.

After voting results were revealed, Ihsanoglu, Erdogan’s major rival, welcomed the election result, saying the nearly 40 percent support he received was a “very significant figure.”

A president in the country is elected for the five years time and he can hold the office for maximum two terms.

He faced criticism for imposing censorship on media.

He will replace Abdullah Gul.

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Free Press Journal