Jan 31 2018

Turkey’s Erdoğan plans election re-design - columnist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning to have the electoral system changed in order to keep in parliament the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a far-right opposition party that has become effectively a coalition member in his government, columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote in secular daily Hürriyet.

“In the presidential election the name and photograph of the candidate will be printed on the electoral ballots,” Selvi said. “Erdoğan will enter as the candidate of the national alliance. Under Erdoğan’s name will be the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and MHP names and emblems.”

Turkey’s electoral threshold, which currently requires individual parties to reach 10 percent of the national vote in order to be represented in parliament, would be altered to apply to the votes of alliances rather than individual parties, Selvi said.

There are no current provisions for official alliances in Turkish electoral law.

“For example, if one party gets three percent and the other gets 25 percent, then both parties will overcome the threshold. But the party getting three percent will only get parliamentarians in provinces where it has got sufficient votes to win seats,” he said.

This might benefit the MHP, which has been left with an electorate largely concentrated in the south of central Anatolia following the emergence of a rival nationalist party, the Good Party.

However, Selvi said, there was also talk of an electoral threshold for alliances in particular to 15 percent rather than the usual 10 percent.