Turkish Electoral Council confirms the results of the first round of elections; Erdogan meets the third party candidate

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council on Friday confirmed the results first round Presidential elections in Türkiye in which none of the incumbent president was Recep Tayyip Erdogan Nor does his main challenger, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who has the majority support needed for an outright victory.

The Electoral Council announced that Erdoğan won 49.24% of the vote, Kilicdaroglu received 45.07% and the third candidate, nationalist politician Sinan Ogan, received 5.28%, thus calling for a May 28 runoff election between the two top contenders.

Ogan, a former academic who was backed by an anti-immigrant party, may hold the key to victory in the run-off now that he is out of the race.

Speaking to Turkish media earlier this week, Ogan listed the conditions for winning his support. Among them are taking a hard line against the PKK, as well as setting a timetable for repatriating millions of refugees, including nearly 3.7 million Syrians.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union regard the PKK, which has waged a decades-old insurgency in southeastern Turkey, as a terrorist organisation.

On Thursday, Kilicdaroglu shifted from his more inclusive and softer rhetoric to appealing to nationalist voters, They pledged to return millions of refugees He rejected any possibility of negotiating for peace with the Kurdish militants.

Meanwhile, Erdogan, speaking to CNN International in an interview broadcast on Friday, said he would not acquiesce to Ogan’s demands: “I am not a person who likes to negotiate in this way. The people will be the king-makers.”

However, a surprise meeting took place on Friday between Erdogan and Ogan at the former president’s office in Istanbul. No statement was made after the meeting, which lasted about an hour.

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