TURKEY: New election bill passes parliamentary Constitutional Commission

ANKARA – The amendment proposal to the Election Law submitted by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was accepted by the parliamentary Constitutional Commission after 17 hours of deliberations and negotiations yesterday. The amendment was approved with a majority of votes by the AKP and coalition partner MHP (Nationalist Movement Party).

The proposal is expected to be discussed in the Grand National Assembly in the coming days. The AKP and MHP have a majority in the Turkish Assembly.

The most noteworthy amendment is that the new bill lowers the electoral threshold for parliamentary elections from 10% to 7% – the threshold is applicable to political alliances and not to individual political parties.

The 10% threshold was introduced with the first elections in 1983 and after the military coup in 1980 with the aim of creating larger and more stable governments which would finally serve their full term of four years.