Polling in Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections began on Sunday, with 56,322,632 registered voters and 180,065 ballot boxes across the country. Polls opened at 8.00 a.m. and will continue through 5.00 p.m. local time.
PARTIES IN THE RUNNING
Eight political parties are participating in the parliamentary elections that include the Justice and Development (AK) Party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the Free Cause (Hüda-Par) Party, the newly formed Good (İYİ) Party, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Felicity (Saadet) Party and the Patriotic (Vatan) Party.
For the first time in Turkish history, political parties went to elections by forming alliances. Turkey’s ruling AK Party and the MHP formed an alliance (People’s Alliance) while the CHP, the İYİ Party, and the Felicity Party constituted another (Nation Alliance).
In general elections, a political party must receive 10 percent of the votes nationwide for any of its candidates to win a seat in parliament. Now, only the alliance needs to pass the 10-percent threshold in order for the parties to claim seats in parliament.
Six candidates are running for president: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the alliance (People’s Alliance) formed by Turkey’s ruling AK Party and the MHP, Muharrem İnce for CHP, Selahattin Demirtaş for HDP, Meral Akşener for the İYİ Party, Temel KaramollaoĞlu for the Felicity (Saadet) Party, and Doğu Perinçek for the Patriotic (Vatan) Party.
Some 1.49 million expats voted in a 13-day period between June 7-19 at 123 Turkish missions abroad. Expat votes have been brought to Turkey by airmail and they will be counted at the same time as the votes cast in Turkey. Balloting at customs gates that began on June 7 and will end today.