Erdoğan dismisses reports on lowering of presidential election threshold

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dismissed reports on plans to lower the vote share required for a candidate to win presidential elections in the first round, saying the current presidential system will serve the Turkish nation for years to come.

Comments by a former Turkish minister that current presidential election threshold should be dropped by 10 percentage points along with waning support for Erdoğan according to polls have sparked reports of envisaged changes to the current system.

According to country’s current system, the presidential election can have either one or two rounds. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, that candidate is declared the winner.

"We have no intention or plans of lowering the election threshold from 50 to 40 percent. The current threshold of over 50 percent is an indispensable criteria,’’ Hürriyet newspaper quoted Erdoğan as telling members of his ruling party at its annual camp on Saturday.

The Turkish president also praised the new executive presidential system, which was ushered in with the June 2018 elections. The system effectively eliminated the prime minister's post while transferring executive powers to the president, who rules with only limited checks and balances.

"It is for the first time in its history that Turkey implemented such a comprehensive change with the support of the people. I believe that this system, which has completed its first year, will serve the needs of our country for years to come,’’ Turkey’s strongman said.