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Presidential Runoff Election To Be Held May 28; A Fragile Ceasefire Between Israel And Islamic Jihad Appears To Be Holding; Zelensky Seeks Fighter Jet "Coalition" After Talks With UK PM. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 15, 2023 - 10:00:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, special continued coverage of the Turkish elections live from Istanbul. It's 5:00

p.m. here. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Heading for a runoff, that is the big news this hour after that critical vote on Sunday. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Bridget falling just short

of the 50 percent threshold he needed to win. With nearly all of the votes counted, he leads his main opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, by almost 5

percent. That is a disappointing showing for the six-party opposition coalition candidate after pre-election polls showed him with the leads over

the incumbent.

Well, official final results will be announced on Friday with the runoff happening on May the 28th, two weeks from now. Well, a third candidate,

ultranationalist Sinan Ogan got about 5 percent of the vote. He has not yet announced who he will endorse in the second round. I'll be talking to him

here on the show in the next hour.

Well, Jomana Karadsheh is connecting us here in Istanbul. Late night for you, late Night for everyone here in Turkey as they stayed up to see just

how this election would go. It's not an outright win for the incumbent president, Erdogan, but he has to feel confident going into this second

round, given what he was up against as we went into this crucial presidential election.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Becky. , I mean, this is not a victory, but it certainly is a win. This is a big blow for the

opposition that really was hoping to capitalize on the President's weaknesses that we've seen over the past few months, over the past few

weeks, whether it is his response to the earthquake that he's come under so much criticism for the way they responded to that earthquake, the

disastrous initial response.

ANDERSON: Certainly in the initial phase.

KARADSHEH: initial phase, of course. And then you've also got the state of the economy, which everybody agrees that this is the making of the

President's policies, and they blame him for the situation. So I mean, for him to come out of this with nearly 50 percent of the votes, this certainly


ANDERSON: Yes. This was the opposition's to lose. And ultimately, effectively, that is what has happened at this point. Question is what

happens in this runoff? Is it clear?

KARADSHEH: That is the big question.

ANDERSON: I mean, the concern that we've heard from a lot of the pro- opposition sides is they were concerned about this going into a second round, that the opposition could lose that momentum because you've -- you

had this opposition that's been more united, more galvanized than ever. They really thought that they will be able to achieve, at this time, coming

into this election, as a United Front and now facing this certainly is a big blow for them. But they are still trying to put a positive spin on this

saying that they believe they can still do this, they can still win.

ANDERSON: The economy, front and center, you're absolutely right to point that out. I want to continue that conversation with my next guest for the

time being. Jomana, thank you very much indeed.

The runoff election sparking a big sell off in Turkey's financial markets. Bank stocks, getting hammered quite frankly today, sovereign dollar bonds,

tumbling and Turkey's currency, the lira, sinking to a record low against the U.S. dollar. Investors counting on a win by Kilicdaroglu and a return

to more conventional economic policies for Turkey, didn't get what they wanted and they are selling on the back of that.

I'm joined now by Timothy Ash who's a Senior Sovereign Strategists in Emerging Markets at RBC BlueBay Asset Management.


It's good to have you with us, Timothy. The Turkish Lira, off the market downturn, probably not surprising, given these results. But will it

continue heading off into the runoff? What do Turkish assets face in this now two-week period ahead of that?

TIMOTHY ASH, STRATEGIST, RBC BLUEBAY ASSET MANAGEMENT: Well, I think for the two weeks, the central bank will certainly try and hold the lira

steady. After the election, I think the consensus, you know, more recently has been that the lira is overvalued and it has to weaken whoever wins. The

problem with an Erdogan victory is we know his economic policies.

We know his monetary policies, he's not willing to raise rates to defend the currency, Turkey has a big balance of payments problem, huge current

account deficit, lots of short-term debt, lots of demand for dollars, how does he anchor the currency without being able to use interest rates? So

it's a massive problem. Is he going to change policies? Is he going to do a 180? Hire someone back in that will reintroduce unorthodox policy, I don't

think so.

ANDERSON: It's a good question, though. We certainly wouldn't have expected it. But it may be that as we watch what happens over the next couple of

weeks, we may get an indication that that indeed, is the case. After all, it was the economy that the opposition here was banking on to all intents

and purposes to get this win. If President Erdogan does win and doesn't change his economic policy, let's just sit with that for the time being,

what's your longer term outlook for Turkish assets?

ASH: Well, perennial balance of payments problems, continued weakness in the lira and high inflation and, you know, question marks about the

durability of Turkey or the Turkish economy more generally, and whether a systemic crisis is possible. You know, he's done that for the last decade.

He did. He hasn't -- he's avoided a systemic crisis, maybe can muddle through a little bit further.

But just going back, I mean, I think on interest rates, it's pretty clear, Erdogan is -- absolutely has a strong conviction that interest rates, high

interest rates don't fight inflation, they cause inflation. It's a faith- based view, he's won elections on low interest rates, boosting credit boosting growth, he just won't do it unless he's absolutely pushed.

ANDERSON: And he faces much criticism from the opposition and from the markets, quite frankly, to the point that you are making. He will say there

is some sense in his policies. He will say that skyrocketing inflation has dropped from its highs of, what, more than 80 percent down to a high of but

-- 43 percent, let's say, and he says it's coming down. He says this -- the lira is more steady just because it's fashionable to use monetary policy

run by central banks to fight inflation.

Let's be quite clear, it doesn't mean that that is the only game in town. Does it? Could investors be on the wrong side of this? After all, this is a

government, and you will hear from them day in and day out, as we have done here in Turkey, that their policy is all about boosting supply at this

point. He has a plan about building continuing to build, what is a manufacturing base, a production base here, he can control supply, he says,

and if he does that, he's going to come out of this on the right side of economic growth.

ASH: I'm sorry, but the facts are the policy is totally and utterly failed. You know, he's had this crazy unorthodox monetary policy slump for a decade

or more. Turkey has not met its 5 percent inflation target at any time during that period. Its inflation is far higher than anywhere else in the

region. We've seen that high base effect help them, but it's because he's been defending the currency in the short-term to get to this election.

He has very little in terms of reserves left to defend the currency. So after the election, that currency anchor will go, which means another

devaluation inflation spiral. It just doesn't add up. An investment, certainly foreign investors will not put money into Turkey with this

unorthodox policy stamp. They've taken money out over the last decade because they don't believe it. There's no way any investor will invest in

Turkey while you have massively negative real interest rates and the reality that he will he won't raise rates to defend the currency at any

point in time.

ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating. Good to have you on. Really good to sort of drill down what is going on here. We are waiting to see whether there will

be a policy change because, of course, the opposition have laid out very clearly that they will go back to what you and I would describe as a

traditional, more pragmatic monetary policy, take the decision-making back to the institutions, take the decision-making back to an independent

central bank, and try and calm the markets and investors down.

So let's see whether we get any indication that we'll get a change in policy from President Erdogan, if indeed, he looks like he will win in this

second round.


Good to have you, sir. Thank you. And you can follow developments in the Turkish elections online. In our -- Meanwhile, in the Middle East

newsletter, we have got a story dropping later today on third party candidates. CNN on a virtual unknown outside of Turkey who could play a big

role in determining the winner. You can also read the newsletters by accessing the QR code on the bottom of your screen.

And you will hear for yourself what that potential Kingmaker in this race has to say because Sinan Ogan joins me live in the next hour of CONNECT THE

WORLD. Don't miss that.

I want to apologize for that slight wind behind his here.

Picking up the pieces, their homes turned to rubble. CNN travels to Gaza City and speaks to residents after the aftermath of Israel's strikes on

Islamic Jihad. A live report on that is just ahead. And --


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Today, we spoke about the jets. A Very important topic for us.


ANDERSON: A big embrace and a big ask, will the Ukrainian president get what he has been hoping for from his allies as he gears up for its much

anticipated counteroffensive. He is in the U.K. today with the British Prime Minister. More on that is coming up.


ANDERSON: Today, millions of Palestinians are remembering 75 years since Al-Nakba, meaning The Catastrophe. It marks the period in 1948 when some

700,000 Palestinians either fled or were expelled from their homes in what became the State of Israel.

Meanwhile, a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad appears to be holding, at least for now, the truce negotiated by Egypt to end days of

deadly violence. Thirty-three Palestinians were killed during Israel's strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza. Islamic Jihad fired hundreds

of rockets towards Israel, killing two people there. In Gaza, as you can see, the damage to some areas is extensive.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman is in Gaza City. It's good to have you, Ben. You're in Gaza, which was hit by Israel strikes.

What's the mood there like two days into this ceasefire?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If you could perhaps hear and see behind me, life is really back to normal in Gaza less than 48

hours since that ceasefire went into effect. And this is what it has always been the case. People back to normal in Gaza less than 48 hours since that

ceasefire went into effect.


And this is what has always been the case. People really jump back into the rhythm of daily life very quickly. Schools are open again. But keep in

mind, this was the 15th major Israeli operation, official Israeli operation in Gaza since it pulled its forces out of the Gaza Strip in 2005. And no

one here is under the illusion that there won't be another round of violence.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): Broken cinder blocks and twisted metal, all that's left of an apartment building once home to more than 40 people.

Saturday afternoon, a call came from someone identifying himself as Rami from the Israeli military, "Leave the building now. We're going to bomb

it," he told Hassan Nebhan. "Don't bomb the whole building," Hassan pleaded, "Just hit the apartment of the guilty person. There are disabled

people here." Once the building was empty, it was bombed.

No one was killed or injured. "Between you and me, I think I was joking," Hassan told me. "I didn't expect the house with disabled people would be

destroyed. Impossible." Reached for comment, the Israeli military didn't go into specifics, merely claiming they struck command and control centers

used by Islamic Jihad for the planning of terrorist activities against Israel. Building residents insisted they didn't know who the target was.

Whoever it might have been, this is the result. Dozens of people left without a roof over their heads.

"We need a home," says Felistine. "The rest we can get, but 45 people now need a home." Her neighbor, Belel Napan, is in shock. "We don't have a bed

to sleep on. We don't have clothing to wear, he says. "We've lost everything." With only scattered ceasefire violations, calm has returned

for now.

Gaza's markets are open again. For the more than two million residents cooped up in this narrow strip of land, there is no expectation of lasting

peace. 56-year-old Musela Mabutcher has lived through all Gaza's woes. The conflict, he says, will continue until Judgment Day. Armed struggle isn't

the priority for most here. They're weary of it all. "Look, not just me, all Palestinians are tired says Sayed, the government worker. Me, you, all

of us. People worry about their children, about their homes."

Faded as they are trying to find their way through this never-ending vortex of sporadic violence.


WEDEMAN (on camera): And there really is, Becky, a sense of exhaustion here. After so many years of violence, people really are desperate to get

into a rhythm of ordinary sort of life where you don't have every few months every year or so, this kind of intense violence that really

paralyzes life for everybody in this narrow strip of land, Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben, we heard there about the devastation and the destruction of people's homes in these stripes. What's the feeling towards Islamic Jihad

and its response to Israel's actions? What's the feeling on the ground?

WEDEMAN: Well, you know, actually, we've heard a fair amount of frustration. We were in a neighborhood south of here called Deir el-Balah,

a part -- and not a neighborhood, a district of Gaza, where there was a house that was destroyed where everybody in the neighborhood said, yes,

that house, that building belonged to a man who was in Islamic Jihad's missile unit.

But in the process of that house being completely destroyed, pancaked, all the houses around it were severely damaged. And one man said, you know,

what am I going to do? He showed me the only assistance he'd received, which was a bag of groceries worth about $8. And he threw it on the ground

and he said, how am I going to rebuild my house with this?

So nothing has been achieved as a result of these five days of strikes and counter strikes. And people are asking what was the point? So there is,

there is resentment, there is anger.


Not on an official level, not in the local media, but when you speak to people, they don't hold back. Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Weden is on the ground better. Ben, always good to have you. Thank you, sir.


ANDERSON: A fighter jet coalition, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy says, that is what he wants to create after face-to-face talks earlier with

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. He also thanked the U.K. for pledging new long range attack drones. Mr. Zelenskyy's unannounced visit to Britain

follows weekend meetings across Europe where he's clearly drumming up support. Germany literally rolled out the red carpet and rolled out its

biggest military support package. So far, that is a big turnaround for Berlin. It knows Kyiv is gearing up for its counteroffensive. Here's what

Mr. Zelenskyy had to say about that.


ZELENSKYY: Berlin need some time. Not too much. We'll be ready, you know, in some time. Like I want to be very honest with you, I can't share with

you, some days, I just don't want to prepare not for our friends, there are no secrets from our friends, but there are some secrets from our neighbors.

That's why we have to prepare. And I'm here, not only because of this support, but, of course, including this support, it will help us to be more



ANDERSON: CNN's Sam Kiley brings us the view from Ukraine. He joins us now live. And before we get onto the ground, and we hear about where Russian

forces are and whether as Ukrainian suggests, they no longer are capable of large-scale offensive actions. And I want to get your response to that.

What did you make of what we just heard from the Ukrainian president there?

SAM KILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's very interesting. If we break it down. Firstly, very quickly, Becky, in terms of psychological operations, he's

been saying that the operation to recapture land in Ukraine from Russia, the big offensive for the summer will be conducted soon. Then he rolls back

sometimes. And he says, well, we need a little bit more time, then no doubt he'll say it's coming soon. Again, this is all designed, partly because

there is no D-Day in each hour yet set by the Ukrainians and partly under work on the minds of the Russian troops.

And that is something that is already going on in terms of softening up operations, attacks recently in Luhansk, for example, the part of the

breakaway northern province that has been backed by Russia since 2014. He's working away at this. He's also been grateful for the support that he's got

for you, rightly point out there from Germany, very significant support coming from the United Kingdom, too. And then tapping in again with his

plea for a fighter jet coalition. Now, really focused now on getting those American F-16s. This is what he said.


ZELENSKYY: Today, we spoke about the Jets. A very important topic for us, because we can't control the sky, you know it. So I think, you know,

everything deeply, because we're real partners. Rishi knows all the details what's going on on our battlefield. Thank you very much. And we want to

create these Jets coalition.


KILEY: Now he also wants to create that fear in the minds of the enemy, the Storm Shadow also supplied by the United Kingdom. A very effective stealthy

cruise missile already potentially has been used in action. These longer range attack drones, again, reach -- all designed to reach behind the

Russian lines, go to break the spine of the logistics operation of the Russians. So, that the Russian troops who are sitting in places like

Bakhmut, bloodied and bruised after many months of very violent operations, will be worried that they won't even get food, let alone ammunition and

other resupplies.

And that's something that the Ukrainian's really keen to work on as things progress. And, of course, they have also conducted, this is the Ukrainian,

some successful counteroffensives in Bakhmut specifically, recapturing some territory, again, exposing the Russian soldiers on the frontline to more of

this simmering fear, Becky.

ANDERSON: And just to underline once again, Ukraine's saying that Russian forces no longer capable of what they describe as large scale offensive

actions, that coming from the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine. They are though, they say, capable of sustaining the current rate of missile

attacks. There's a lot going on. Good to have you breaking it down for us, Sam, thank you.


Sam Kiley's on the ground for you ahead on the CNN.

The stakes are high as Turkey's most critical presidential election in decades, if not in modern Turkish history, heads to a runoff. We'll look at

results from Sunday's race and reaction. That's coming up.

And later, record turnout for a major election in Thailand. We take a look at the results there as voters call for change.


ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Istanbul. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Time here -- what time is it? Just half past 5:00.

We are covering the Turkish presidential election, the aftermath of what is now the first round of the presidential election where President Recep

Tayyip Erdogan is in a fight for his political life as Turkey's hotly contested election heads into a runoff on May the 28th.

Mr. Erdogan didn't reach the required 50 percent threshold required to win outright on Sunday. State-run media reports that he leads with just over

49.4 percent of the vote while Kemal Kilicdaroglu has just under 45 percent. A second vote will be a first for Mr. Erdogan, who has faced

criticism from the West, at least by maintaining ties with Russia during its war on Ukraine.

Look, there's an awful lot going on here. Let's take a look at how this election is being covered here in Turkey. This is the Daily Sabah, a

Turkish pro-government daily newspaper. It covers -- its cover reads "President Erdogan and his party win again."

Well, joining me now is that newspaper's Editorial Coordinator, Mehmet Celik. It's good to have you on, sir. Interesting to see what the headline

on your newspaper is today. You could absolutely argue that this is a win for President Erdogan. He went into this first round, what we now

understand to be the first round of this presidential election, with an awful lot of challenges. And with an opposition who, at least in the polls,

were -- polls were suggesting had a good chance of winning this outright and they didn't. Why?

MEHMET CELIK, EDITORIAL COORDINATOR, DAILY SABAH: Well, I think, you know, it is very clear if you look at the numbers that despite all these

challenges that we, you know, many have talked about, be it economy, be it the earthquake struggle, be it, you know, in day-to-day struggles of the

people in the street.


Despite all these channel -- challenges, his party won in the parliament with a, you know, a very good margin, 320 and odd members will be in the

parliament for the --

ANDERSON: This is the Alliance.

CELIK: -- People's Alliance, yes. And also, I mean, let's put Erdogan's figures aside, let's look at the opposition, which was very popular in the

eyes of all the pollsters, in the eyes of all the Western media. And actually even on the street, he was able to move people. But I think there

was this groundswell that pushed Erdogan's votes. And he was able to gather 49.5 percent of the vote, despite all the challenges, despite the fact that

he's been running for 21 years, and there is that fatigue, and he's still very popular.

ANDERSON: The electorate did speak and it spoke loudly about its concern for the cost of living crisis here, and economic policy. President Erdogan

has taken a very untraditional, very different economic policy in fighting inflation than the international markets, Western investors, investors all

over the world would like him to take, and that's hurting. Do you think, if there's any learning out of this first round, it is that President Erdogan

needs to fix his economic policy at this point.

CELIK: Look, there was -- there is some economic challenges, but we should also make sure we highlight that there is a pandemic that we have, you

know, globally faced. There is a global recession.

ANDERSON: No doubt about it.

CELIK: We also have earthquake.

ANDERSON: Its worst year than it is in other places. Let's be quite clear about that.

CELIK: Yes. It is much worse. That is very, you know, that's not a secret. However, I think first of all, I think we should kind of see that, you

know, the whole cabinet has changed. They are all MPs in the parliament now. So the new team that President Erdogan will form if he wins the -- in

the second round, if he wins the elections, I think some changes, and there must be some economic boost in terms of the morale, in terms of the some of

the dynamics, but I think in, you know -- when it comes to the economics that he wants to follow, versus the Western type of economics, I think

there's a lot of politics in the economics on how the West deals with President Erdogan when it comes to investment, for example.

ANDERSON: You and I talked last night about the Western perception of President Erdogan. And I don't know whether it's just because you're a

journalist, and a very good journalist, that you continue to say the Western media says X about Erdogan? Western media tends to follow, you

know, the kind of, you know, Western, you know, sort of bent towards Turkey, rightly or wrongly, I don't think it's the media necessarily that

we should be complaining about.

It's sort of lack of nuance in understanding what's going on here. And also, again, you know, has President Erdogan placed himself at the heart of

Europe? No, he hasn't. Has he placed himself in a more sort of regional power position? Yes, he has. And I think that's important to point out.

CELIK: I think it is important for the sake of your argument, but I think if we look at the Western media focusing on specifically on Erdogan, at the

time where Turkey is developing its defense industry, when it's developing it's, you know, when it's diversifying its energy when it is putting

Turkish interests first in the eastern Mediterranean, northern Syria, fighting against a terrorist organization that is basically supported by

the West, why do we not see some of the Gulf, for example, monarchies on the face of -- on the covers of many magazines?

ANDERSON: You're talking about the cover of The Economist magazine, which a couple of weeks --

CELIK: Which was changed last night.

ANDERSON: Came out -- Absolutely. And it came out and threw its weight behind the opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and you pointed out on

Twitter last night that they have changed their position, or they at least accepted that their position wasn't right. And you were at least applauding

that decision, or I'll give you that space to have made that point. What I do want to get your sense of thought --

CELIK: May I just interfere, Becky, here? You know, I think there is that haze around many of the, you know -- I mean, if we were to put their

editorial policy aside, there is that haze or there's a fog around many of the journalists that come to understand Turkey. They come and try to

understand Turkey through their lenses that they put on before coming to Turkey and they do not take that off when they actually come on the ground

to really understand. I think this is a mistake. And I think that there should be diversification, which would make better analysis and make

Turkish politics better understandable.

ANDERSON: You're preaching to the converted when you talk about how, you know, journalists need to, to a certain extent, live in the region, come

from the region that they don't take the lens off, take the prison that you come here, through, off just for the time being, and trying to understand

what's going on in the country.


And I hope that, you know, many people do. I live in the UAE, have a good sense of what's going on in this wider region of the Middle East. Before I

let you go, Sinan Ogan is the leader of -- or got five percent in the presidential race. He is a let's call him a kingmaker or a tiebreaker at

this point, how important is he?

CELIK: I think he's important, but not as much as, you know, now many are focusing on his five percent. I think there is a huge morale boost that

will affect the opposition when it comes to our parties or the alliances' presents that five percent difference between President Erdogan and Mr.

Kilicdaroglu, and whether that difference, that defeat will push, you know, Kilicdaroglu supporters back to the ballot boxes, or whether they are

demoralized now and not go to the ballot boxes. I think these will be more important that that five percent that will be divided between Mr.

Kilicdaroglu and Mr. Erdogan.

And, you know, if we look at Sinan Ogan's, for example, voter base, they are more leaning towards right and conservatives and some of the

nationalist views, and these will most likely support President Erdogan given the fact that Kilicdaroglu is aligned with HDP.

ANDERSON: He wants to send Syrian refugees back immediately. He's no fan of the Kurds. Certainly no fan of feminism and a number of other issues. This

is an ultranationalist, former member of the MHP who are in the lines, of course, for President Erdogan's party in parliament. Thank you for joining


CELIK: Great to be here with you.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you yesterday. Good to have you today. Your perspective's really important. Coming up, I'll speak to a potential

Kingmaker in this runoff. We will speak to right-wing candidate, Sinan Ogan, who came in third place and his endorsement could be, could be

decisive for Turkey's next president. He will speak to me live next hour. We'll do a short break. Back after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. We're live from Istanbul, bringing you the very latest on

Turkey's presidential election, which will now head into a presidential runoff a week from Sunday after no candidate secured more than 50 percent

of the vote.

Well, it's not the only big election to tell you about today. The other major election this weekend was in Thailand. And with 99 percent of the

votes counted there, the opposition parties have swept the board. The Progressive Move Forward Policy is projected to win 151 seats with the

populist pew in second place with 141. Despite the obvious mandate for change, it is not clear at this point who will actually take power.


Here's CNN's Paula Hancocks.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A street celebration in Bangkok as the Progressive Move Forward Party claims victory in Thailand's elections. The

party that promised the most changes has won the most votes.


PITA LIMJAROENRAT, LEADER, MOVE FORWARD PARTY: The people of Thailand have already spoken their wish and I am ready to be the prime minister for all

whether you agree with me or you disagree with me.


HANCOCKS: The younger generation came out in force to vote saying they wanted a new future for their country.


THANATCHA BUAYA, MOVE FORWARD SUPPORTER: You have things like the new generation, and I am one of the new generation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were things that Thailand you have, like good democracy.


HANCOCKS: Now comes the horse trading. Pita has asked Phue Thai with the second highest votes to join his coalition. The party affiliated with

exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was favorite to win, but his daughter says they will work with their fellow progressives.


PAETONGTARN SHINAWATRA, PHUE THAI PARTY (through translator): We have to accept the result with sportsmanship. When Move Forward has won as number

one, we congratulated them and we're cheering for democracy and for the nation to move forward.


HANCOCKS: Both parties ran on a ticket to reform the economy and keep the military out of politics. Move Forward went one step further pledging to

reform the once untouchable monarchy.


THITINAN PONGSUDHIRAK, POLITICAL ANALYST: They have tapped into a lot of sentiments that have been feeling I think that Thailand needs to change.

And that change has to do with the reform of the military, the monarchy, getting rid of the draft, amending the article 112 Lese-majeste, that's

what Move Forward proposes.


HANCOCKS: A result seen as a strong rebuke to years of military-backed politics. Incumbent Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, former coup leader

and army chief said he would respect the people's decision after the polls closed.


PERRAPAN SALEERATTAWIPAK, CHAIRPERSON, UTN PARTY (through translator): We have to accept the reality. It's not that we get what we want all the time.

Working in politics, we need to accept the reality all the time that there is no certainty.


HANCOCKS: Despite two military coupes in less than 20 years in Thailand, most political experts believe chances for another are low this time.

But the biggest party is not guaranteed to feel the next prime minister. Move Forward needs to secure the majority of 750 MP votes for Pita to

become prime minister. 250 of those are from a military-elected Senate who are unlikely to support the progressive candidate.

Celebrations may be underway, but so is the deal making to ensure the final government reflects the will of the voters. Paula Hancocks, CNN



ANDERSON: I'm Becky answer live for you from Istanbul with continued coverage of the presidential elections here. We will be talking to what you

might describe as The Kingmaker, the potential Kingmaker in these elections. That's coming up top of the hour. First up, though, WORLD SPORT

for you. Stay with us.