Turkey’s election authority deems AKP breakaway parties ineligible for next polls

Two opposition parties formed over the last year are missing from an updated eligibility list by Turkey’s Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) for the upcoming general elections in the country, Karar news website reported on Sunday.

The YSK failed to include in the list two parties founded by former heavyweights of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), former minister Ali Babacan’s Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Future Party (GP), citing the parties’ lack of fulfilment of eligibility criteria.

Turkish law requires political parties to have established branches in at least half of Turkey’s 81 provinces and have organised their congress at least six months before elections, or if they fail in these two criteria, already have a group in parliament.

DEVA and GP can run in general elections if they fulfil the criteria before the elections, which are scheduled for 2023.

In May last year, the AKP announced legislation to hinder opposition parties by banning transfer of deputies between parties.

Meanwhile, in previous elections, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had helped another opposition party form a group in parliament to fulfil the criteria.