Ankara, March 31: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday night claimed victory for his ruling party in the local elections as initial results showed the AKP swept around over 45 per cent of the votes after about 80 percent of the ballots were counted, media reports said.
Erdogan, chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party ( AKP), said that "this is a great victory and significant result", Xinhua reported. He also thanked those who supported the ruling AKP in the local elections.
The early results showed that the AKP garnered 45.8 per cent of the votes for the provincial assemblies nationwide, according to the report. The ruling party received 39.1 per cent of the votes in the local elections in 2009 and 49.9 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections in 2011.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) received 28.4 per cent, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) grasped 15.6 per cent, pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) obtained 4.2 per cent, according to the report.
The AKP is far leading in the largest city of Istanbul and the capital of Ankara, AKP Spokesman Huseyin Celik told reporters. The party's provincial chair Aziz Babuscu said incumbent Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbas would continue his term.
The voting started at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) in eastern provinces of Turkey and ended at 4 p.m. (1400 GMT). In the western part of the country voting is between 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) and 5 p.m. (1500 GMT).
Twenty-six parties, including the ruling AKP, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party, are competing in the local elections.