Turkey’s Erdoğan advocates removal of absolute majority requirement in presidential elections

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 18 reiterated his support for switching to a simple majoritarian system in presidential elections by removing the current absolute majority requirement, as it would be more "efficient."

Duvar English

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 18 stated once again his belief that Turkey should switch to a simple majority benchmark for presidential elections during his return from Germany visit. 

Answering the journalists’ questions, Erdoğan reiterated his support for such a switch from the absolute majority requirement. He added that electing presidents in a single round with a simple majority of votes would be more “efficient” and “easy.”

Erdoğan added that the current absolute majority that requires the candidate to earn more than 50% of the votes to be elected "steered political parties to bad routes."

The current system requires an absolute majority of votes to elect a president. If no candidate receives more than 50% of votes during the first round, the two candidates with the most votes run in the second round two weeks later. 

“(In the current system,) you cannot tell who is in cahoots with each other. The Table of Six, the Table of Ten… Who knows how far it will go?” Erdoğan said, criticizing the main opposition alliance founded to bring the parliemantary system back.

Erdoğan also touched upon the new draft constitution proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). “We are most disturbed by the coup spirit roaming in our current constitution.”  

Turkey still uses the 1982 Constitution, prepared by the military regime. However, it was amended 19 times since then. Three referendums for the constitutional amendments were held in 2007, 2010, 2017 under the ruling AKP, paving the way for the centralized hyper-presidential regime of today.

The president added that they wanted to introduce a “new, civil, inclusive constitution that answers contemporary needs.” He also said that the opposition blocked AKP’s previous efforts to prepare a new constitution, and made unkept promises.