PM expects 'balance' from top court on election threshold

PM expects 'balance' from top court on election threshold

If the Constitutional Court disregards protecting stability in its eventual decision over lowering the 10 percent threshold for representation at Parliament, then "the people will not accept it," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Dec. 8.

“Representation and stability should be balanced,” Davutoğlu told reporters at a press conference before his departure for an official visit to Poland.

“We would respect a verdict that protects [the balance between] representation and stability. However, a ruling that would damage stability in the name of highlighting representation will not be approved by our people, who have benefited from that stability and development,” he stressed.

Turkish political parties have engaged in fierce debate about the 10 percent election threshold after Haşim Kılıç, the head of the Constitutional Court, signaled that the Court might cite the threshold as a violation of rights in a decision set to be given in a few weeks.

The government has harshly reacted against the timing of Kılıç's remarks, accusing him of plotting against it ahead of next June’s parliamentary elections.

Davutoğlu recalled that neither the Constitutional Court nor the European Court of Human Rights found any illegality with regard to the election threshold in earlier verdicts, and expressed his expectation that the Court’s upcoming ruling will be "consistent." 

“There is no use to start a debate while there are five to six months until the elections. Let’s see how the legal process evolves and how the Constitutional Court will evaluate the issue,” Davutoğlu said.

Government officials often cite Article 67 of the current Constitution that reads: “The electoral laws shall be drawn up in such a way as to reconcile the principles of fair representation and consistency in administration,” as the constitutional basis to having the 10 percent election threshold in the laws.