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Election result graphic aired on pro-gov’t TV sparks suspicions of fraud at polls

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A graphic aired on a pro-government TV channel by the state-run Anadolu news agency displaying a clear win for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with 53 percent of the vote in Sunday’s presidential election has sparked suspicions of potential election fraud.

According to the Gazete Duvar news website, after displaying the graphic the host of the show said it was a test broadcast for the election.

The graphic shown on a TVNET program on Tuesday also indicated 26 percent of the vote for Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce, 12 percent for the İYİ (Good) Party’s Meral Akşener and 7 percent for the Democratic Peoples’ Party’s (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş.

The Anadolu and Doğan news agencies are the only media outlets that will receive election results from polling stations and simultaneously convey them to the public.

Since Doğan media’s sale to a pro-government businessman earlier this year, the opposition has raised suspicions about possible fraud on election night coming from these two agencies, which would discourage opposition monitors at polling stations from seeing that votes are properly counted.

Cumhuriyet daily columnist Kadri Gürsel also described in his column today a scenario of rigging the elections, which included the Anadolu agency, saying that according to CHP authorities, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has been planning to announce an early victory through the agency and then an Erdoğan speech claiming the win.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, however, argued that his party has been preparing all possible measures to prevent any cheating at polling stations, Gürsel also noted in his column.

“We won’t let the government steal your votes. It is very important for citizens to cast their ballots in good faith; they will decide their future,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

İYİ Party presidential candidate Akşener on Thursday addressed President Erdoğan via Twitter asking, “Did your son-in-law [referring to Energy Minister Berat Albayrak] tell the Anadolu agency to announce [Erdoğan] had won 52 percent of the vote at around 9:30 pm?”

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