Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Wednesday he expects his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's candidate for August's planned presidential elections to perform strongly, Anadolu Agency reported.
"Our candidate will hopefully be elected as president in the first round," Arinc told Anadolu Agency. "AK Party's vote range is around 46 percent despite every anti-campaign. This shows that normally our votes is around 50 percent mark."
AK Party recieved 45.56 percent of votes during Sunday's local elections, despite anti-government protests in summer 2013, a December 2013 anti-graft probe and a wave of leaked recordings of alleged conversations involving high-profile officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Responding to criticism of irregularities in the voting, Arinc said there was nothing wrong with the overall election.
"Every party, candidate or official can object the results with their reasons by going to province's election board or supreme council, these are all legal," he said. "But if they keep repeating their objection unjustly and in an effort to political manipulation, they have to leave such manners."
Turkish presidential elections will be held in August 2014 and voters will go to polls once again in 2015 for general elections to decide their new government.