Erdogan retains reduced majority in Turkey

June 12, 2011 at 4:39 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, June 12 (UPI) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party won a third term Sunday, but with a reduced majority.

With 99 percent of the ballots counted, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won 50 percent of the vote, yielding 326 seats in Parliament, the BBC reported.

The qualified victory is 41 seats short of the two-thirds majority the party would need to amend the Turkish Constitution unilaterally, the BBC said.

The secular Republican People's Party won 26 percent of the vote, and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party garnered 13 percent.

"The people gave us a message to build the new constitution through consensus and negotiation," Erdogan told supporters in Ankara.

He said his party would "discuss the new constitution with opposition parties."

More than 50 million people were eligible to cast votes in Sunday's election.

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