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Turkiye run-off: voters occupied with domestic challenges

News report by Arwa Al-Wagayyan ANKARA, May 27 (KUNA) -- Turkiye is witnessing Sunday decisive presidential run-off between incumbent President Recep Teyyip Erdogan and main rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu amidst a number of challenges like refugees and the daunting task of recovery from the devastating earthquake.
Both candidates were forced to head to another round of voting after Erdogan garnered 49.52 percent while Kilicdaroglu secured 44.88 percent of votes.
The higher electoral authority announced, following the official publication of results, that Erdogan, of the ruling Justice and Development Party, and Kilicdaroglu of the Republican Peopleآ’s Party, were heading for a runoff on May 28 because neither won more than 50 percent.
The third candidate, Sinan Ogan, announced he was endorsing Erdogan which gave the president a leverage over Kilicdaroglu to a possible another five-year term.
With the approach of the second round of elections, the competitions between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu "becomes fiercer", Ismail Kaban chief editor of Turkiye daily, told KUNA.
He explained a candidate would not have to win the 50-percent plus one margin, therefore the one with higher votes would win.
Kaban said Turkiye was a key player in the international scene, specially in the Middle East and as NATO member.
Ifran Altikardas, a political analyst, noted a change in Turkiye's political map despite progress achieved by Erdogan in parliamentary and presidential elections.
Speaking to KUNA, Altikardas said there were some changes in the voting patterns which led to the emergence of nationalists. (end) akw.bs