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Isa Soares Tonight
U.K. Pledges More Military Aid For Ukraine; Ceasefire Between Israel And Islamic Jihad Appears To Hold; Erdogan & Kilicdaroglu Set For Runoff Presidential Election; Cyclone Mocha Hits Bangladesh & Myanmar. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 15, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Turkey's president will go head-to-head
with his opposition rival, as the presidential elections go to a runoff vote. We'll have the latest from Istanbul. Then, Ukrainian President
Zelenskyy meets British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as the U.K. pledges more military aid for Ukraine.
Plus, CNN is in Gaza city just days after a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants. We'll look at the damage left behind after five days
of fighting. But first tonight, we start in Turkey this hour where voters will have to wait almost two more weeks to choose their next leader.
Officials have set a presidential runoff for May 28th, saying no candidates crossed the 50 percent threshold needed to win Sunday's vote.
The two candidates headed to the final round are incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Mr. Erdogan's chief rival is an economist
backed by an alliance of several opposition parties. He is among those who said the president is responsible for struggling economy. Mr. Erdogan's
critics also blame them for lackluster earthquake response that cost lives.
But he did better in the polls than many expected, and his party is set to remain the largest in parliament ahead of final results. Let's get more on
all of this, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins me now live from Istanbul. And Jomana, it's not a win yet for Erdogan, anything of course is possible
mathematically. But he's in a strong position ahead of this runoff. So what is your sense on the ground, is he likely to hold on -- to cling on to
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, you know, Isa, you have to look at the numbers. Yes, President Erdogan did not get
that 50-plus 1 percent that was needed to get the presidency, but he did do better than was expected in all the polling that was taking place before
They did have Kemal Kilicdaroglu; the leader of the opposition in the lead, and now you see that President Erdogan has pretty much come out with that
slight lead with more than 49 percent of the vote. And you've got both sides sounding very confident going into this second round, but a lot of
the supporters of the opposition are very concerned that the opposition might not have that same determination amongst its electorate.
That same kind of enthusiasm they went into that first round, believing that, that win from the first round was possible. Now, you also have that
third candidate who was running an ultra nationalist Sinan Ogan. And he could potentially emerge from this as a tie-breaker, with those 5 percent
votes. Of course, he's been eliminated because only the top two will be headed towards that runoff.
And that 5 percent vote that he managed to garner in this election, what happens to that? It is a combination of disenchanted nationalists who
couldn't vote for President Erdogan's alliance. And then you've also got the protest voters who did not agree with the opposition's choice of Kemal
Kilicdaroglu to lead the opposition into these elections.
What happens to that? He spoke earlier to our colleague, Becky Anderson, take a listen to what Sinan Ogan told her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SINAN OGAN, TURKISH ATA ALLIANCE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): What we're thinking is all the political parties should
exclude terror organizations. We don't have to give our support to either of the parties. There's no such rule. When we first started this race, we
thought we need to either win the government or we are going to be the kingmaker, and we are at that status.
Political parties like HDP(ph) or HUDA(ph), we want those candidates not to rely on parties that have no distance between terrorist groups, and we
succeeded in that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH: And we're going to have to wait and see, Isa, he did say that he is going to be in consultations with the four other parties that are part
of his small alliance to see what they decide to do in the next couple of weeks, whether they're going to endorse anyone.
But then there's also the question of those who voted for him, will they be following whatever his decision is or will they be going their own way? A
critical couple of weeks ahead for Turkey ahead of yet another consequential vote for this country that people will tell you, is not just
about the next five years, but the direction the country is taking.
SOARES: Indeed, and Ogan, they're not giving much away very much, playing the role potentially of kingmaker. But look, let's talk about the
opposition, because of course, all the numbers we've been seeing ahead of this was that they were going to do fairly well. They now have two weeks
now to wait for this runoff, Jomana. What is the mood right now? Do they fear they will lose momentum? Can they re-energize the population at this
KARADSHEH: That is going to be the question. That's going to be the big challenge because there was real disappointment amongst the voters for the
opposition, amongst those supporters. They really were expecting something very different. They believe that Kemal Kilicdaroglu and his alliance has
underperformed. People really had their hope in this united front, this opposition coming together in a way they have never done before.
You had the six diverse parties backed by the Kurds as well, all coming together as this one coalition. They were hoping to unseat President
Erdogan, their promise was really speaking to the disgruntlement of much of the population here, promising them change, promising that real democracy
under a parliamentary system will come back again under this opposition, if they do win.
And there was this feeling that they could achieve this. They were promising that they could potentially do this from the first round. Then,
you had the polls that were coming out and putting Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the lead. So right now, you have the serious disappointment, but you're
also hearing from the opposition saying that they are ready for the second round.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu saying today, he's not going anywhere. He is here and here to stay, and he will fight until the last moment. But we will have to
see because I mean, Isa, yesterday, we saw these incredible scenes where you had so many people turning out. Turkey does have a history of high
turnout at elections.
Yesterday was a record turnout, nearly 90 percent of eligible voters were out voting. We saw the elderly being brought into these polling centers on
stretchers and in wheelchairs. We spoke to first-time voters who were saying that this was the most decisive election in the history of their
country. And they felt that they had an obligation to take part in it.
And a lot of people that we spoke to were saying that they wanted change. But clearly, if you look at the results, you see a very divided Turkey. It
is really a reflection of the state of polarization in this country, two very different men, two very different visions for the future of the
country. And Turks are very much divided on what Turkey they want to emerge out of this election, Isa.
SOARES: Yes, and then the work begins of how do you unite the country like you said, Jomana, that's clearly polarized? Jomana Karadsheh there for us,
thanks very much, Jomana. Now, Ukraine's president is in the United Kingdom, was in the United Kingdom earlier today. The latest stop of his
tour of European allied nations.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at his official country residence. Mr. Sunak announced a new military aid package,
saying Britain will provide hundreds of air defense missiles and long-range attack drones to Ukraine. The British government is also promising to train
Ukrainian pilots starting in the Summer. But Mr. Zelenskyy says he is grateful for these allies help. But he's pushing for a bit more. Have a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE: Today, we spoke about the jets, very important topic for us because we can't control the sky.
We want to create these jets coalition, and I'm very positive with it. We spoke about it, and I see that in the closest time, you will hear some -- I
think, very important decisions. But we have -- we have to work a little bit more on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Sam Kiley joins me now from southeastern Ukraine. And Sam, President Zelenskyy leaving Europe with a significant new way package,
there have been no coalition of jets, at least, not yet anyway. What did you make of what was pledged?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think very significant indeed, very fulsome support both from Germany and Britain. The British
have been full square behind Ukraine from the get-go, but the Germans haven't in terms of lethal aid. But both of them providing very important
air defenses, there's armor coming from Germany. There's more long-range missiles or attack drones coming from the United Kingdom, additional
ammunition for artillery.
All these sorts of equipments that are absolutely essential from the Ukrainian perspective, to try to go after the Russian invading forces with
some ferocity, ahead of what they hope to be this Summer offensive, that is still being talked about, almost endlessly now, Isa. So, a very significant
step and reinforced really by this news that we've had out of Russia, that there may have been two Russian fighter jets and two helicopters shot down,
possibly by their own air defenses, possibly by Ukraine.
But signaling, really, vulnerability and setting more fear into the minds of the Russians as they enjoy a degree of recent tactical success around
the city of Bakhmut with some advances made by the Ukrainians there. Again, working on the minds of the Russians, very important from the Ukrainian
tactical point of view. Isa.
SOARES: And Sam, I've got you here, let me ask you, I want to get your thoughts of what -- whether you make of this report in the "Washington
Post" today that Prigozhin; the head of the mercenary group, Wagner, you and I have spoken about just on Friday in fact, may have offered to share
Russian military Intel with Ukraine. What do you make of that?
KILEY: Very interesting that the Ukrainians sort of shrugged it off. They're sort of saying he would say that, wouldn't he kind of thing?
Russians of course have called it a hoax. He has lampooned it, saying that where this conversation is alleged to have occurred somewhere in Africa,
and he hasn't been in Africa, he claims, since the beginning of the war.
But it wouldn't surprise anybody, really, possibly not even the Russians. That this leader of a mercenary organization would offer in return for --
in return for a softer life for his employees, his Wagner right mercenaries on the frontline in places like Bakhmut, that he would give away Russian
positions, Russian locations.
Now, of course, that is high treason of the most egregious kind. It was been dismissed immediately by Russia. I think that this is really -- should
be seen in the context of the sort of maelstrom of misinformation that often surrounds Prigozhin and the Wagner Group. It is tactically important,
it has been in the fight over Bakhmut, where they've lost really large numbers of people, absorbed a lot of Ukrainian energy.
But this is not an organization that is in any way replacing the Russian Armed Forces. It's going to be interesting to see how this latest iteration
of a sort of bloody soap opera plays out. And I think really, that is the way it's being seen here in Ukraine. That said of course, the Ukrainians
would love to be able to turn somebody of the prominence of Prigozhin or indeed any other leading Russian military official or officer, to their
side, albeit, even if it's for a backhander or a bit of a light touch on the frontline.
SOARES: Sam Kiley there for us, appreciate it, Sam, thanks very much. Let's get more perspective then from Andriy Zagorodnyuk; he's a former Ukrainian
defense minister, he's also the co-founder and chairman of Center of Defense Strategies and adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Great to
have you on the show, sir.
Let me pick up if I could, Andriy, on that -- with that report from the "Washington Post" where I left off with our correspondent Sam Kiley, that
you know, that Prigozhin, according to the "Washington Post" was prepared, shared intelligence on Russian troop positions with Kyiv in exchange,
according to the "Washington Post" for Ukrainian ceding territory in Bakhmut. Did he share intelligence with Kyiv?
ANDRIY ZAGORODNYUK, FORMER UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: Well, first of all, I'm a former adviser to the president, and secondly, we obviously do not
comment the -- what Prigozhin is doing like that, because it's been -- he's extremely, highly controversial figure. He's the person with pretty much no
more boundaries. He perhaps can do anything, really, and he can potentially offer anything to anyone, which would improve his position.
So, to say that was surprised that he suggested something which will set up his own forces in Ukraine, I mean, his own like compatriots, no there's no
surprise. To say that he has done that, I mean, obviously, based on one article, it's very difficult to say. So --
SOARES: Potentially, it could also be misinformation, you think?
ZAGORODNYUK: But actually, yes, it could be or potentially, yes, it could be anything, to be honest. But that person, he also can do anything. He can
do -- he can indeed try to trade the information in order to improve his positions, and also which is importantly, there are extremely fears and
very unproductive competition between his commanders and the Russian armed forces commanders. And that's a fact.
SOARES: Yes --
ZAGORODNYUK: So that's kind of a common knowledge among the military experts. So who knows, maybe --
SOARES: Getting bigger and bigger -- and --
ZAGORODNYUK: Yes --
SOARES: That rift between -- it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. Like you said, you wouldn't put it, Andriy, past him at least. Let's talk, if I
could, about this, President Zelenskyy's whirlwind tour -- Europe tour, I should say, in the run-up of course, to the Spring offensive.
He said last week -- I think it was last week, that he needed more time for the counteroffensive. What does Ukraine need, in your opinion, to win?
ZAGORODNYUK: Today, warfare is -- can be -- is done, usually according to the doctrine of what is called in the West as a combined arms operation.
Which means that there is like a set of different capabilities working together in the same time. So there is not like one or two or three
critical capabilities. There's like a package of them which need to work in a coherent manner.
So, the question is like whether Ukraine has that package, and whether we do already have done a collective training, and actually they're ready for
the battlefield. And as we know, there's been a lot of commitments from allies about various parts of this -- of this -- of this capabilities,
including tank, including armored vehicles and so on.
And we also know that sometimes they arrive later than expected, and sometimes they need logistical support more than expected and so on. So
perhaps, he's talking about getting finally ready. Which means like doing a latest preparations and also bringing equipment, which we -- which was
delayed for any reason.
SOARES: Yes, and I just --
ZAGORODNYUK: Apart from --
SOARES: Go ahead, Andriy, go ahead. Go ahead.
ZAGORODNYUK: Yes, there's also a discussion about the longer-range equipment, like basically something which is not going -- we're expecting
tomorrow, but we're expecting in some months or even later. Such as the second drones, such as the some rockets, and of course, there's a big
discussion about the tactical aviation, such as fighter jets and so on.
But for these, specifically, for the counteroffensive, which is expected to be within a month, you know, safely say, yes, this is more about like
logistical delivery of what has been already promised.
SOARES: And I just want to show our viewers around the world, the graphic, a little graphic really, that shows how -- what has been pledged here in
Europe in the last few days at least, you get a sense. U.K., hundreds of air defense missiles, drones, long-range, fighter pilot training, Germany,
of course, air defense missiles, France, vehicles, battle tanks.
Mr. Zelenskyy continuing meantime though to campaign, Andriy, for a coalition of fighter jets. There's no fighter jets, it's something, of
course, that he's been -- he's been calling for. It's still a TBD at this stage. But the tanks --
ZAGORODNYUK: Yes --
SOARES: Were a TBD, right? Is -- do you think --
ZAGORODNYUK: Everything --
SOARES: That you will -- everything was a TBD, I remember it. So, how likely is it that you will get, of course, the jets?
ZAGORODNYUK: Well, it's difficult to say, but I have to say that with every day, the chances becoming higher and higher, because our partners
understand that we are here not discussing some specific, isolated stories, such as tanks or fighter jets or HIMARS or something like that. We're
talking about overall concept that Ukraine needs to win this war and Russia needs to lose it.
So Ukraine needs to demonstrate that success on the battlefield, because clearly, any other outcome so far realistically is not going to happen.
Putin is clearly not backing off, and we clearly need to physically push him out of Ukraine. So those atrocities need to stop. Then the question,
what do we need for that? And what normal army like a regular army would need for that?
And of course, since Russia is heavily employing their fighter jets and the gliding bombs and all other kinds of Air Force capabilities, that we need
to respond, and we need to deter that with the better systems. So, it's not like, you know, Ukraine thinking and coming up with more and more ideas,
it's the -- the question is that when we can form the capability, which would be able to successfully resist Russian offensive.
And yes, and so, from their perspective, fighter jets are essential, and military experts and military personnel and commanders, they all know this
very well. No major commander would ever take fighting against Russia, which would be deploying their fighter jets. They wouldn't start that war
with -- against Russia without the ones.
So, it's clearly -- it's clearly very difficult to imagine a successful operation was out there, capability, so there's a discussion. However,
there are a number of concerns. And those concerns are such as financial, such as logistical. There were talks about the escalation and so on, and --
SOARES: Yes --
ZAGORODNYUK: Ukrainian government addressing these concerns, and addressing them so far successfully, and that's why I am actually optimistic, I think
that, we will have these discussions more and they will show up.
SOARES: Andriy, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us tonight. Thanks very much, Andriy.
ZAGORODNYUK: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, a 78-year-old American citizen has been sentenced by a Chinese court to life in prison. We'll have the details on
the charges, that's just ahead. Plus, how the expiration of Title 42 has impacted the tense situation between at America's southern border. We are
live for you in Texas, just ahead. You are watching CNN.
SOARES: The U.S. State Department says it is aware of the situation after a Chinese court sentenced a 78-year-old American citizen by a Chinese court
to life in prison on spying charges. John Leung, who is also a Hong Kong permanent resident, was convicted today in the city of Xizhou. Beijing
hasn't provided any further details. And the U.S. State Department had no further specifics, citing privacy concerns.
The sentencing comes as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in 50 years. Our Ivan Watson has the latest details for
you on Leung's arrest.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The first public acknowledgment that a 78-year-old American citizen named John Shing-Wan
Leung was in Chinese custody came on Monday. In a statement from a court in the Chinese city of Xizhou, announcing, that Mr. Leung has been sentenced
to life in prison after being convicted of espionage.
The statement went on to say that Leung is also a permanent resident of Hong Kong, that he'd had the equivalent of around $71,000 worth of
property, personal property, confiscated, and that he had been detained for more than two years. First picked up by China's authorities in April of
2021. CNN has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, it says it will not comment further about Mr. Leung's case for privacy considerations.
Going on to state that the U.S. Department of State has no greater priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. A top official in
the Hong Kong government has confirmed that they knew about Mr. Leung's case since 2021, but would not add any further information about this. It's
important to note that the Chinese government has been expanding its definition of espionage, adding an amendment to law just last month, that
would add for its definition of this, possession of any documents or data, materials or items related to national security and interests.
And including cyber-attacks against state organs or critical information infrastructure, as been considered espionage. Now, just last week, the U.S.
National Security adviser Jake Sullivan met face-to-face with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, for hours of talks in Vienna.
They discussed a whole host of issues, but also Sullivan raised concern about the fate of three Americans believed to be wrongfully detained in
China. Mark Swidan, Kai Li and David Lin, there was no mention about this additional American citizen, John Leung, who's just been sentenced to life
in prison. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
SOARES: Well, the expiration of the United States Title 42 policy has brought fewer migrant arrivals than expected, for now at least. According
to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. border authorities have seen a 50 percent drop in the number of migrant
encounters. They reported almost 10,000 per day while Title 42 was still in effect.
Mayorkas also said it's too soon to tell whether the migrants surge has peaked. Let's go now to our correspondent Rosa Flores who is in Brownsville
in Texas. So, Rosa, the intense -- you know, surge at the border hasn't quite happened as many were expecting. Just give us a sense of what would
it be like, what was it compared to last week? What are you seeing?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me paint a picture here in Brownsville, Texas. But let me first show you around, because this is where migrants are
dropped off by immigration authorities. You can see the migrant sign in the back. This street has been blocked off, I've been here multiple times in
prior surges. They've never really completely blocked off this area, but that gives you a sense of the potential capacity for this surge.
What you see behind me is the bus station. This is normally where migrants would catch a bus to continue on their journey in the United States. And
this is the entrance of that bus station. Now, here is what we're hearing from nonprofits on the ground. There are two prominent nonprofits in this
area of south Texas, and they both say that they've seen a significant drop, a 50 percent or more.
That reflects exactly what the federal government is saying. That they're seeing on their end as well. And the big question is why? I've been in
contact with community leaders and officials on the Mexican side of the border, who have contact with the migrants who could seemingly be the ones
crossing over into the United States.
And what they tell me is that, the tough talk by the Biden administration, the images of migrants being shackled and deported back to their home
countries is resonating. It is sending the message to a lot of the migrants on the northern side of Mexico, that if they cross illegally into the
United States, that there will be legal consequences, including a five-year bar of re-entry into the country.
And so a lot of these migrants are deciding on their own not to cross the border illegally. On top of all of that, there is an official in Tijuana,
Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California, who says that on Wednesday, the Mexican National Guard also made presence along the border
wall, and that has also diminished the number of smuggling groups that are working in that area.
That is also dropping the number of migrants who are crossing into the United States. And Isa, with all of that said, I've got to say that
nonprofits here, the individuals that work with this migrant group, are still preparing for the worst. Again, because the Biden administration is
still saying that the situation is fluid. They're not sure if there will be an uptick later on or not, and so nonprofits are getting ready just in
case. Isa --
SOARES: Yes, at the moment, the visuals acting as a deterrent, but of course, who knows? Rosa Flores, appreciate it, thanks very much. And still
to come tonight, record turnout for major election in Thailand. We'll take a look at the result as voters call for change. And then later Cyclone
Mocha hits parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar. We'll have the details, that's next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. We'll have more now on our top story.
Turkey will have a runoff election on May 28th. That's after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was forced into a second round with only a narrow lead
over his rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Neither candidate crossed the 50 percent threshold needed to win Sunday's vote.
Joining me now is Gonul Tol. She is the Founder and Director of the Middle East Institute's Turkey Program in Washington, DC. Thanks very much for
joining us. This is an important day for us to talk about what will happen the next two weeks. Of course, many analysts expected decisive result.
There was considerable talk, I think it's fair to say, that this could be a moment of change for Turkey. What do you make of the result?
GONUL TOL, DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE'S TURKEY PROGRAM: Well, I actually expected an opposition when -- yesterday so the result was, for
me, surprising. But on the other hand, you have to understand this, Turkey has been an autocratic country for many years now. And President Erdogan,
the playing field was tilted heavily in his favor. He used all the powers of an incumbent mobilize state resources, and despite that 51 percent of
the country did not vote for him.
And despite the devastating earthquake, which hit the country recently, and the faltering economy, double digit inflation, he still managed to use the
identity card. He framed his opponents as terrorist, as pro-LGBTQ. He frame them as people who were against the country's conservatives who knew Muslim
values and it seems to have resonated with the people.
SOARES: Yes. It's resonated with the people and, you know, and he has got a slight lead at the moment. It begs the question though, Gonul, where did
Kilicdaroglu and his alliance fail? I mean, was six opposition parties just too big here?
TOL: That's right. It was a very diverse opposition, ideologically very diverse. And I think that the main problem was that no one could foresee
how strong nationalism in the country has been. There was a third candidate and he was a member of a far right country before, and he ran is one of the
candidates and he secured the five percent vote. So, I think he's going to be the kingmaker in the second round. And I think Kilicdaroglu, the
opposition candidate, he ran a very successful campaign. He had this very unifying narrative as opposed to Erdogan's polarizing rhetoric. And he
tried to address, offer solutions to the country's pressing economic problems. And he wants to also appeal to the country's conservative
segments, those who have voted for Erdogan. So, I think he ran a successful campaign.
But, again, the -- maybe one thing that we all didn't foresee was how strong nationalism in the country is.
There is a large Kurdish minority in the country and now, a large Syrian refugee community in the country. And the anti-Kurdish and anti-Syria
sentiment is very strong. And I think that's one of the reasons why Erdogan's framing of the opposition is pro-Kurdish, I think really struck a
nerve and mobilized the nationalists.
SOARES: And you talk nationalism, but you also mentioned the economy. We know the opposition party for them, that was one of their main promises,
right? I think inflation is up something like 44 percent. What other issues, would you say, concerned Turks the most here?
TOL: Well, from opposition's point of view, those people who did not vote for Erdogan, one of the country's top problems is obviously the economic
problems. But also there's a growing concern about Erdogan's centralization of power. Repression, under his regime hit critical constituencies,
particularly hard. Women, for instance, and Kurds, and young people. So, the country's growing authoritarian turn, I think, is also be a strong
concern for the opposition voters.
But again, for Erdogan's constituency, despite the economic problems, and many of them share those concerns about the state of economy, but I think
they don't have enough faith in the opposition's ability to fix those problems.
SOARES: So how do you see this -- them playing out? Because you end up with a very polarized country here, Gonul.
TOL: That's right. So, the next two weeks will be really tense. I think both parties will try to secure the backing of the third candidate, the
nationalist candidate, and he already put forward certain conditions to support either party, and he is saying that he does not want any party to
be aligned with the Kurds to give concessions to the country's church. In the position alliance, not officially, but the pro-Kurdish party backed the
opposition's candidate, Kilicdaroglu, and in Erdogan's alliance as well, there is an -- a Kurdish Islamist party.
So, the third candidate, who is going to be the kingmaker, is saying that he does not want to see that to support the party. So the next two weeks, I
think we'll see more of those negotiations.
SOARES: Indeed, Gonul Tol. Really great to get your perspective and insight. Thanks, Gonul.
Now, record turnout in Thailand for a nationwide election, 99 percent of the votes have been counter and opposition parties swept the results. The
Progressive Move Forward Party is projected to win 151 seats with populist Phue Thai in second place with 141 seats. Despite the obvious mandate for
change, it's not clear at this point who will take power. Paula Hancocks had the latest.
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.
NAT SOONTORNARUN, MOVE FORWARD SUPPORTER: 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 has 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
SOARES: Cyclone Mocha has hit parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar with wind gusts greater than 200 kilometers per hour. The storm has killed three and
injured at least 13 people. Our Vedika Sud has the latest.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: tropical cyclone Mocha pummeled into the north western coast of Myanmar Sunday afternoon local time. Communication and
power lines in parts of Rakhine, the western most state in Myanmar have been down. It may take days to ascertain the extent of damage caused by the
cyclone with wind speeds of over 200 kilometers per hour. People were seen hunkering down in temporary shelters, video show powerful gusts of wind
uprooting trees, tin roofs have blown off, storm surge as high as three meters have inundated low-lying areas of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine
Early reports suggest the damage is extensive. According to aid agencies, this is one of the strongest cyclones to ever hit Myanmar. Before the
storm, aid agencies in Myanmar and Bangladesh launched a massive emergency plan to minimize the risk of injury and disruption. They had feared that
Mocha would hit Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, where about one million members of the stateless Rohingya community live, but the tropical cyclone made
landfall further south.
HASINA RAHMAN, COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR BANGLADESH INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: It was a close call and we're just really happy that we've been
able to contain this damage with minimal loss.
SUD: The last storm with similar strength to make landfall was tropical Cyclone Giri in 2010. It caused more than 150 deaths and destroyed over
15,000 homes in Rakhine state. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, CNN goes to Gaza City after five days of Israeli airstrikes targeting a Palestinian militant group. The destruction
was significant, we'll show you. That's next.
SOARES: Well, the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, is holding for now and life is returning to normal on
both sides of the Gaza Strip. The deal was brokered by Egypt and went into effect on Saturday, ending five days of violence. The latest flare up or
the conflict started on Tuesday, if you remember, with Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.
Israel officials say they were targeting Islamic Jihad commanders as well as infrastructure. Palestinian Islamic Jihad began its own rocket launches
the next day. Over those five days, 33 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and two people were killed in Israel.
Our Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman is in Gaza City. And Ben, I can hear from the hustle and bustle that life appears to be
returning to normal as that truce hold. You've been speaking to residents there. What is the mood?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is holding. In fact, right below me is the Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City.
And I see lots of families and children down there, enjoying the evening cool. And what we've seen is that life indeed gets very quickly back to
normal. Schools are back in session, the markets are open. But nobody here is laboring under the illusion that this calm is going to last for very
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 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
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): This was the third major outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Islamic militants in Gaza in the last three years. In
fact, since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, it's the 50th official Israeli operation in Gaza and the feeling is the 16th isn't long away. Isa.
SOARES: And Ben, you know, one lady that we had a clip on the show last week, I remember her one comment she made very clearly, she said, you know,
we spend daytime awake -- sleeping, pardon me, at nighttime, we stay awake for fear, of course, of these raids, the -- these overnight raids. Is that
fear palpable? How does it feel to you? You have covered so much of what you've called this vortex of sporadic violence. Talk to us how that has
WEDEMAN: Well, it's madness, but it's madness people have become accustomed to.
And it's like when the ceasefire is announced, and I've seen -- I can't count how many go into effect, it's like a switch is turned. People come
out in the streets. And the next day, in those areas where there's destruction, of course, there is continuing agony, and then tragedy, but in
most of the Gaza Strip, really, life quickly goes back to normal.
But keep in mind that this has been going on -- and let's -- you have to go back basically to the mid-1980's for the last time when there was a
protracted period of relative calm. You know, I speak to people who have just seen so many things here. There is a real deep sense of exhaustion,
and resignation, exhaustion after all of this, and resignation, that there doesn't seem to be any hope on the horizon that this situation writ large,
between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem is anywhere near a final resolution. Isa.
SOARES: Yes. And like one of the gentlemen said, weariness, there's a lot of weariness at the moment. Thanks very much, Ben Wedeman. Appreciate it,
Well, in Sudan, the U.N. says almost a million people had been displaced, and at least 700 people have been killed since the conflict between the
Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces militias started last month. This hospital you're looking at here in Khartoum is among the latest
casualties as the fighting rages on. The RSF accuses Sudan's military of damaging the East Nile hospital with airstrikes on Monday. The army says it
was targeting weapons and ammunition near the medical center. It is unclear how many people were injured or killed. We'll stay on top of that story for
And coming up, why this man is living underwater for months at a time. And how he's setting a new world record. That story next.
SOARES: Now a researcher in the U.S. state of Florida has set a new record for the longest time living underwater, kid you not. On Saturday, diving
explore, medical researcher, Joseph Dituri, spent his 74th day in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Key Largo. He's been living at this lodge
30 feet below sea level since March the 1st.
And he plans to stay there until June the 9th, which would be his 100th day underwater. Unlike a submarine, the lodge doesn't have technology to adjust
for the increased pressure underwater. And that is what Dituri is studying, how his body responds to long-term exposure to this extreme environment.
Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH DITURI, DIVING EXPLORER: The idea here is to populate the world's oceans, to take care of the world's oceans by living in them and really
treating them well. Not necessarily, oh, just make another record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And that's Joseph Dituri there. And he's not the only one breaking records. One Portuguese pooch isn't letting anyone steal his crown. Bobi,
the oldest dog ever recorded, is celebrating his 31st Birthday, doubled the life expectancy of his Rafeiro do Alentejo breed. His family say a calm
environment is the secret to Bobi's long life. But they made an exception for a party in their home in Portugal. The senior pup showed off his good
health as he celebrated with over 100 guests. His owner says Bobi is special because looking at him, it's like remembering the people who are
part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here. Happy birthday, Bobi, from all of us.
And that does it for me. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is next. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.