Serkan Alan / DUVAR
A bill passed in parliament on a new election law has been prepared out of fear the ruling alliance will lose power, the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party has said.
In a disapproval of the bill by opposition parties in parliament, the party said the election law was shaped by the “personal political goals” of the ruling alliance out of fear that they will lose the elections, adding that the bill was prepared “discreetly.”
Last week, parliament’s constitution committee accepted the new electoral draft law submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The discussions over the 15-item proposal began on March 23 and lasted for 17 hours. The İYİ Party, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) all disapproved the bill.
The draft law seeks reducing the current electoral threshold to seven percent from 10 percent and remove the requirement to set up parliamentary groups to enter elections.
With the change, the government is aiming to halt the transfer of lawmakers between parties. Parties will also be required to complete organization works in 41 provinces at least six months prior to the elections.
The opposition has called the move an “attempt to engineer election results” and “eliminate the will of voters.”
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said lowering the electoral threshold from 10 percent to 7 percent was “against the constitution.”
The CHP said the electoral threshold was being lowered to “save the MHP” from failing to pass the threshold in the next polls and for the ruling party and its electoral partner to “protect their wealth and seats.”
The new regulations have also been criticized as setting up obstacles before parties with lesser mobilizations and remove their rights to participate in elections.
If the bill is legislated, 11 electoral council chairs and its members will be picked in a draw within three months, with the opposition saying this would be susceptible to “murky methods” of choosing the council chairs.
An article on electoral silences left out any bans on the president, with the CHP saying the president being excluded from the bans had no “legitimate and rightful excuse.”
The HDP called the move “odd” and that it would deliberately “block” the representation of various social dynamics in parliament. It called for a complete removal of the threshold.
(English version by Nihan Kalle)