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Turkey's Governing Party Wins City Races - NYTimes.com

ISTANBUL -- The governing party, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won a narrow victory in nationwide municipal elections on Sunday, preliminary results showed, but registered declines in a number of major cities.

By late evening, the CNN-Turk news channel was reporting 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 seen as a 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.

Early results seemed to send a message: Mr. Erdogan's party was winning by much narrower margins than in 2007, when it garnered 47 percent of the vote. Many attributed the decline to the economic downturn and to allegations of widespread corruption among members.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:15:49 PM EST
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