Ruling party leads in Turkish election

ANKARA - Turkey`s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was leading with 47.6 percent in Sunday`s general elections, with 80 percent of votes counted, according to results carried on CNN Turk television.

The main opposition Republican People`s Party (CHP) was second with 20.1 percent and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) third with 14.4 percent, it said.

Two surveys of results from sample ballot boxes across the country also estimated the AKP would eventually win more than 45 percent of the vote and enough parliamentary seats to once again form the government on its own.

The first, conducted for the NTV news channel, estimated that the AKP would muster 45.6 percent of the vote and win 332 seats in the 550-member parliament.

The CHP finished second with 20 percent of the vote and 104 seats, and the MHP third with 14.4 percent and 85 seats, according to the survey.

No other party passed the 10-percent national threshold to enter parliament, but 29 independent candidates, mostly Kurds, would win seats, it said.

A similar survey conducted by the Konda polling company for CNN Turk gave the AKP victory with 46.9 percent of the vote and 334 parliamentary seats.

The CHP was second with 18.1 percent of the vote and 94 seats and the MHP third with 15.7 percent and 88 seats.

07/22/2007 17:56 GMT

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