CHP urges lowering of Turkey’s election threshold

CHP urges lowering of Turkey’s election threshold

CHP urges lowering of Turkey’s election threshold

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called for lowering the 10 percent threshold in Turkey’s election system, stressing that “democracy must be strengthened” after the July 15 failed coup attempt.

“If we are defending democracy, if we want Turkey to be cleansed of coup laws, then we should change this election system. We need to save Turkish democracy from this 10 percent threshold shame,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a parliamentary group meeting of his party on Aug. 17 in Ankara, referring to the introduction of the threshold that was put in the constitution during military rule after the 1980 military coup in order to prevent Islamist and Kurdish-focused parties from entering parliament. 

“The ones who staged the coup introduced this threshold. We are all saying that we are against the coup. So let’s change this coup law,” Kılıçdaroğlu also said. 

Due to the 10 percent election threshold, mainly Kurdish-problem focused parties have been forced to enter elections with independent candidates in order to gain seats in parliament. 

The CHP leader said Turkey “deserves a first-class democracy” and one of the rules of “absolute democracy” is to strengthen the parliamentary system. 

He also stressed that there should be a strong “self-criticism” after the failed takeover. 

“How could Turkey face another coup attempt? How was this environment formed? Who has been governing the country for 14 years? Who put Turkey into this situation? We should ask ourselves these questions,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also referred to the joint commission formed by the three opposition parties in parliament to investigate the coup bid, criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for not joining it. 

“I have to ask Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım the reason why they are not joining the commission. What is the reason? The political wing of this coup attempt should be brought to light,” he said.