Erdogan rival accepts election results as he warns of Turkey becoming 'one-man regime' 

Erdogan rival accepts election results as he warns of Turkey becoming 'one-man regime' International election observers said Monday that Turkey's election was unfair, with the opposition having "no equal opportunities" to make their case against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but did not find evidence of widespread vote rigging. The observers’ report was issued hours after Muharrem Ince, Mr Erdogan’s main challenger, formally conceded defeat in the election and warned that Turkey was becoming "a one-man regime”. Britain and other Western governments said they accepted Mr Erdogan’s victory despite the opposition’s complaints and would continue to cooperate with Turkey on migration, Syria, and other issues.  Observers from the Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that voters had a “genuine choice” in the election but that the opposition was not able “to compete on an equal basis”. The OSCE team said that Mr Erdogan had benefitted from “excessive coverage” by state and private media. It also said that emergency laws Mr Erdogan imposed after a failed coup in 2016  “limited fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression”. The report focused on the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, which faced “a number of attacks and disruptions”. The party’s presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, is in prison and “could not campaign freely,” the report said.  “There is some work to be done by the authorities to ensure that future elections in Turkey are in line with democratic standards and commitments,” said Audrey Glover, the head of the observer mission. Thousands of people gathered outside the party headquarters to watch Recep Tayyip Erdogan's victory speech from the balcony Credit:  Anadolu However, the observers said that election day procedures were “generally followed” and did not report any widespread vote rigging, as some opposition parties had feared would happen.  Mr Ince made similar complaints as he spoke in Ankara on Monday but said he did not believe that voter fraud had tipped the balance of the election. “Did they steal votes? Yes, they did. But did they steal ten million votes? No,” he said.  He warned about the new executive presidency system which will come into force after the election. ”Turkey has cut off its links with democracy. It has cut off links with the parliamentary system. It is transitioning toward a one-man regime,” he said.  Mr Ince also apologised for not addressing his supporters on Sunday night and instead texting his concession to a Turkish news anchor, who read it out on live television. "An experienced politician like me shouldn't have done that,” he said.  Some supporters remained furious with Mr Ince and his Republican People’s Party (CHP) for not contesting the election results. “You were suppose to be a hero, Ince? F – - – the CHP and what they do,” one Ince voter wrote on Facebook. Profile | Recep Tayyip Erdoğan A spokesman for Theresa May said the UK looks forward to continuing a "close association" with Turkey following Mr Erdogan’s election victory.  "Turkey and the UK have a wide range of shared interests, including regional security, counter-terrorism and bilateral trade and investment,” he said. Downing Street declined to comment on claims the election was not fair. The Liberal Democrats criticised the government for its ties with Turkey and said it “must stand up to Erdogan and explicitly condemn his authoritarian regime”.  There were recriminations in both Germany and Austria after the results showed that Turkish voters living in both countries had voted overwhelmingly for Mr Erdogan.  Nearly two-thirds of the Turkish community in Germany 65.7 per cent voted for Mr Erdogan, a stronger show of support than in Turkey itself, where Mr Erdogan just over half the vote. Around 475,000 people of Turkish origin are thought to have cast votes in Germany. Cem Özdemir, a Green MP who is originally from Turkey, criticised Turks who took to the streets of German cities to celebrate.  They “not only celebrate their autocrat,” but they also “express their rejection of our liberal democracy,” Mr Özdemir said, comparing them to supporters of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.     



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