Election law draft submitted to Parliament: Ruling alliance to lower electoral threshold

The election law draft jointly prepared by the ruling People’s Alliance was submitted to the Parliament today (March 14).

Drafted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the legislative proposal foresees that the electoral threshold be reduced from 10 percent to 7 percent.

According to the law draft, if the rate of votes received by the alliance is over the country threshold, the calculation and distribution of the MPs in the electoral districts will be done based on the number of votes received by every single party of the alliance in the related district.

The number of MPs of the political parties constituting an alliance will be determined with the general D’Hondt method by considering the number of votes received within the alliance in every electoral district.

If the related legislative proposal is enacted as a law, forming a group at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) will no longer be a sufficient condition for participation in the elections.

The legislative proposal also foresees some arrangements as to the procedure of determining election councils. According to the amendment, a political party will not be eligible to nominate a person from another party for a member of the balloting committee without his or her approval.

Local elections

In the elections to be held as per the Law on the Election of Local Administrations and Neighborhood Heads and Councils, the related information will be updated based on the electoral registers from a year ago that are prepared according to residential addresses.

The ones who are not in the address registration system due to a closed address will be registered in the electoral register based on the latest address where they were registered as voters.

In the event that the elected neighborhood head documents his or her eligibility for being elected within a month at maximum, he or she will be given the certificate of election by the district election council.

Otherwise, the certificate of election will be first granted to the candidate who comes second in the elections; if he or she fails to fulfill this requirement as well, the process will continue further down on the list.

An objection may be raised against the decisions given by district election councils in this context by applying to provincial election councils within two days. The decisions given by them will be final.

The heads and members of provincial election councils and heads of district election councils will be determined based on the amendments introduced to the Election Law within three months after the legislative proposal is enacted as a law. The heads and members determined in this way will complete the terms in office of the previous council heads and members.

With this legislative proposal, the expression of “Prime Minister” will be removed from the Election Law in line with the Presidential Government System, which is currently in effect in the country.

In justifying the proposal, the parties have said, “With this legislative proposal, it is aimed at further increasing the increased threshold of democracy and standard of our country, further securing its position among democratic countries and reinforcing the stability in governance achieved by the Presidential Government System with justice in representation.”

MHP effect

The ruling AKP and its ally MHP agreed to lower the parliamentary election threshold from 10 percent to 7 percent, according to statements by both parties’ leaders in late August 2021. President and AKP Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on August 29 that they had agreed with the MHP to reduce the threshold but were waiting for the final decision of their allies.

“About the threshold, what has become clear is 7 [percent] but we haven’t received our MHP colleagues’ final decision yet,” he told reporters: “The MHP leans towards 7. Whether it might be something below this is not clear. It can be discussed as well but for now, there is no such thing.”

Releasing a written statement on September 1, MHP Chair Devlet Bahçeli confirmed that the threshold will be reduced to 7 percent.

“The threshold decision of the People’s Alliance has been registered as 7 percent. No further evaluation is needed,” said Bahçeli.

MHP under the threshold by its own

According to the Operational Research company’s latest election poll, the voting rates of the political parties are as follows:

AKP: 32 percent
CHP: 30.3 percent
İYİ Party: 12.9
HDP: 9.8 percent
MHP: 6.9 percent
DEVA: 2.8 percent
Felicity Party: 1 percent
TİP: 1 percent
New Welfare Party: 1 percent
Future Party: 0.4 percent
Homeland Party: 0.4 percent
Other: 1.5 percent