Turkey’s parliament approved new electoral bill

Turkey’s parliament on March 31 approved electoral law amendments by a show of hands after a three-day debate.

The reforms were approved by legislators from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party and his nationalist allies, which have a majority in parliament.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main political ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have submitted a 15-article draft law to amend the election law, which reduces the national election barrier from 10 to 7 percent.

It also obliges the political parties to pass this threshold to win seats at the parliament, although the alliance they are part of garners more than 7 percent of votes. The proposal no longer allows a political party with a group of at least 20 lawmakers in the parliament to run in the elections. This aims to prevent the political parties from transferring lawmakers just to be eligible to run in the elections.

In June 2018 elections, the CHP transferred 15 lawmakers to the İYİ (Good) Party, which had only five deputies at the parliament, so that the latter could race in the polls.