AKP eyes elections results to push for new Constitution
Deniz Zeyrek ANKARA
HDP members believe that they can get enough votes for Parliament. AA photoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is making calculations in an effort to determine how many extra seats it must win in June 7 elections to allow it to change the constitution on its own.
The most likely scenario being debated in Ankara is the AKP’s winning of at least 330 seats in the event that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) decides to run for parliament as a political party but fails to pass the 10 percent election threshold, a development that could be to the advantage to the AKP.
Upon the instructions of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the HDP is making all preparations to compete for parliament as a political party, rather than independents in a bid to escape the strictures of the threshold. Party officials believe the HDP can pass the 10 percent threshold simply by garnering an additional 600,000 votes, suggesting it can procure these required votes from 40 towns the party has never shown candidates for previously.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who has insistently said the party has no threshold problem, has three public opinion surveys supporting his argument. One of the surveys that analyzed recent elections and voting trends in a comprehensive way outlined the matter as follows:
- Two percent of votes in elections are invalid.
- There are 2.8 million voters abroad but in the last election only 20 percent of them voted (558,000 valid votes). This has an effect in reducing the turnout by around 3 percent in the elections. That means the projected turnout in the 2015 elections will be three points less than the estimated 87 percent, that is, 84 percent.
- In 2014 presidential elections, 40.5 million cast their votes. Demirtaş garnered 3.95 million of them, good for 9.76 percent. If the presidential elections were parliamentary elections, he would need just 96,000 more votes to pass the 10 percent threshold.
- In the event the turnout of the 2015 elections is 87 percent, that would correspond to 47.6 million valid votes. Therefore, to pass the 10 percent threshold, the minimum required votes would be 4.8 million. In the event the turnout is 84 percent, then this amount would decrease to 4.6 million votes.
- If the HDP retains the 3.95 million votes it won in the presidential elections and adds 600,000 more, then it will have no problem in passing the barrage. That would mean that the party would have at least 55 lawmakers and as many as 64.
- The votes the party would receive from 40 towns in which it has never run candidates would constitute the main base for an increase of its votes. From these 40 constituencies, the HDP garnered 182,000 votes in the presidential elections, but the figure is believed to now exceed 200,000. In the event the party is more successful in the Central and western Anatolian region, then the party could win around 72 seats in parliament.
Final decision to belong to Öcalan
Although the HDP appears determined to run for parliament as a party, the final decision will be given by Öcalan. A HDP delegation is slated to meet Öcalan on İmralı Island on Jan. 30 and go to Kandil Mountain to meet top PKK officials on Feb. 4.