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Turkey's Governing Party Wins City Races

The New York Times reported the governing party, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won by a narrow margin in nationwide municipal elections on Sunday, preliminary results showed, but registered declines in a number of major cities.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03
/30/world/europe/30turkey.html?ref=world

The CNN-Turk news channel reported that Mr. Erdogan's party, Justice and Development, led with 39.13 percent of the vote, while the main opposition, the Republican People's Party, had 22.83 percent, and the nationalist People's Action Party had 16.22 percent.

The elections were viewed as referendum on the performance of Turkey's politicians, in particular that of Mr. Erdogan, a former Islamist who has pressed for Turkey's membership in the European Union.

The Anatolian News Agency said five people died and more than 10 were injured in skirmishes at election stations in remote provinces of mainly eastern Turkey.

The BBC News reported that Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to work for national unity after his party won re-election with almost 50% of votes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6910444.stm

The election was sanctioned after opposition parties in parliament blocked the AK Party's nominee for the post of president causing political deadlock.

After some three-quarters of votes were counted, reports developed that the AKP had won about 47% of the nationwide vote.

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