Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its coalition ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) agreed to lower electoral threshold to 5 percent, columnist Abdülkadir Selvi Abdulkadir Selvi wrote for Hürriyet on Wednesday.
Under current rules, adopted after the military coup in 1980, parties must receive ten percent of the vote nationwide to enter parliament, the highest in stipulation in Europe.
Lowering the threshold would allow smaller parties to participate the elections without necessarily joining alliances, potentially benefitting the AKP’s far-right ally, MHP, whose support is hovering at around ten percent.
While agreeing to lower the threshold for parties running on their own to five percent, MHP proposes that the ten percent threshold be preserved for alliances, Slevi said.
The AKP on the other hand, does not favour the introduction of a separate electoral threshold for the alliances, Selvi said.
But if Bahçeli insists, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will re-evaluate his party’s decision, he said.
Another conflicting issue between the two allies regarding the new election law is the AKP’s proposal to change electoral districts, which the MHP also rejects, as the new system would result in a favouring of larger parties.
The proposed system, dubbed the ‘narrowed-region’ system, introduces regions adjusted to have seven deputies each. In this scenario, the MHP believes it would lose deputies, according to Selvi.
“President Erdoğan said that no change would take place unless an agreement was reached with the MHP, therefore, we can say that the current electoral system will continue as it is,” Selvi said.
The AKP and MHP coalition, known as the People’s Alliance, won a combined 54 percent of the vote at the 2018 general election, with a 43 percent and 11 percent vote share respectively.
But an aggregate of polls earlier this year found a steady decline in support for the People’s Alliance. Opposition parties believe the ruling alliance seeks to make up for this loss, and hinder their rise.
The next elections are scheduled for 2023.