Harmonization law for elections passed in parliament

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The Turkish Parliament has approved a legislative package for the harmonization of the current election and political party laws based on the new electoral terms stipulated by the constitutional amendment.

The legislation stipulating the regulation for presidential and parliamentary elections was approved on April 24 in a late night session in the Grand National Assembly in parliament.

The package makes changes in laws on basic electoral regulations, lawmaker elections, political parties and presidential elections.

The Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) is expected to announce the election schedule a day after the package will be announced in the official gazette.

According to the regulation, the presidential candidate can be nominated by a political party, which has either received at least 5 percent of the votes in the last election or has a group in parliament and 100,000 signatures from the electorate.

The nominees that will apply for candidacy outside of the parliament will pay 131,000 Turkish liras and those who can collect 100,000 signatures will be reimbursed following the election. If a candidate cannot collect enough signatures, their payment will be transferred to the Treasury.

Voters can only sign for one candidate. Their signatures will be given to the local election committee and registered digitally.

A presidential candidate cannot run for lawmaker in parliament at the same time.

The president can only be elected for two terms but if the parliament decides elections will be held in the second term, the president can be a candidate another time.

Presidential elections will be held simultaneously with the parliamentary law. A candidate that has received more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round will be the president.

If none of the candidates can reach this percentage, then a second round of elections will be held two weeks later between the two candidates that have received the most votes.

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