MHP leader criticizes AKP-proposed new election regime

MHP leader criticizes AKP-proposed new election regime

MHP leader criticizes AKP-proposed new election regime

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Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said the government-proposed new electoral system may “fuel ethnic discrimination.”

Speaking to reporters during the April 23 National Sovereignty Day receptions, Bahçeli said the plan is based on narrowed constituencies and may pose problems.

“Narrowed constituencies are dangerous. It may fuel ethnic discrimination,” Bahçeli said. “There are three regions and 87 deputies in Istanbul. If you make it 87 regions, people from Trabzon or Kastamonu come along. There will be no discipline left in the party. It requires high political culture and citizens need to be better informed.”

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has prepared a draft bill on a new electoral system based on narrowed constituencies, which is expected to allow the party to increase the number of its lawmakers by 25.

Turkey currently uses the proportional electoral system, where each of the parties wins a percentage of seats that is equal to the percentage of votes in each province. Because of size, Istanbul is divided into three constituencies and Ankara into two.

Bahçeli also said August’s presidential elections will not be enough to ease Turkey’s tensions, referring to the possibility that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might come up as a candidate.

“Maintaining 51 percent of votes might mean something in Parliament. A party will take the power,” he said. “But if you dissect Turkey to camps and pressure people, tensions will not ease even though you become president, garnering 51 percent of the votes.”

“For that reason, the presidential candidate should have potential to embrace the whole community. The presidency is such an important position.”