CHP welcomes plans to reduce electoral threshold, warns against obstacles for new parties

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has welcomed the plans of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to decrease the electoral threshold, but warned his party will reject any kind of initiative aiming to prevent the participation of newly founded parties in any upcoming election.

Speaking to daily Sözcü, Kılıçdaroğlu proposed a method of nominating deputy names by voters and to lift the 10-percent threshold completely.

Stressing the CHP still doesn’t know the proposal text of the AKP as it seeks to make changes in the elections law, Kılıçdaroğlu said he would make a more elaborative comment when the bill arrives in parliament.

“Let’s make an amendment in the Political Parties Law. But we shall especially make two major changes,” he said.

“Let’s either abolish the 10 percent threshold or reduce it to a reasonable level. The 10 percent threshold is not implemented in any country other than us. Whether 7, 5, 3 or 1… It must be reduced,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Regarding the second topic of the amendment, he said, “Party leaders should not nominate parliamentary candidates. The nation should determine the candidates.”

Kılıçdaroğlu, however, warned that with the planned amendment, they will not allow the ruling alliance to pave the way to put up obstacles before new parties to run for the next elections.

“There are two new parties that renegaded from the ruling party. If the ruling party seeks to prevent the new parties from entering the election, it will be a blow to democracy,” he stated.

The CHP leader suggested that the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) seek to prevent these new parties and accused them of “not believing in democracy” and supporting “coup” methods.

“If the newly formed parties are prevented from entering the election, it is our duty to disrupt this,” he said.

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli recently proposed amendments on the political parties’ law, election law, and renewal of the parliamentary bylaws. He raised the issue after the CHP leader hinted that he could allow a temporary transfer of a group of his lawmakers to the Future Party, set up by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), set up by former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, so that they can participate in the election in the event of a snap poll.

According to the current law, having at least 20 lawmakers in parliament is enough for a political party to run for the elections although it fails to fulfill other requirements. A similar scenario was realized when the CHP did the same move for İYİ (Good) Party before the 2018 elections.

Hurriyet Daily News

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