Turkey’s President Wins Sweeping Powers in Cliffhanger Vote

In an apparent cliffhanger victory, with challenges from the opposition still outstanding, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President (and now party leader) Recep Tayyip Erdogan are claiming a hairline victory in a decisive referendum that will greatly empower the presidency. Some 48 million of 55 million eligible voters cast ballots on a raft of 18 constitutional amendments that will fundamentally alter the Turkish government, taking effect in the next scheduled election in 2019. With nearly all votes counted, the “Yes” vote garnered 51.34 percent of the vote with the “No” vote coming in close behind with 48.66 percent of the vote, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
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