‘Threshold and election procedure could change’: PM Yıldırım

‘Threshold and election procedure could change’: PM Yıldırım

‘Threshold and election procedure could change’: PM Yıldırım

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The 10 percent election threshold may be changed if the constitutional amendment passes at the referendum, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said, noting that because the new system will “provide stability,” there will no longer be reason to fear potential instability – the ostensible reason the threshold was inserted in the 1982 Constitution. 

“The 10 percent election threshold could be opened to discussion and be reduced,” he said.

“That is because with the presidential governmental system, the lawmakers gain importance rather than the party group since the model has changed. It could be bent,” CNN Türk Chief Editor Ferhat Boratav quoted Yıldırım as saying after a meeting between the prime minister and media representatives in Ankara on March 27. 

Ruling out any possibility of early elections after the referendum in the event the constitutional amendments are approved by the public, Yıldırım said the constitutional amendment necessitated drastic changes to current laws, especially in the Election Law and Political Parties Act. 

“The election will be held on Nov. 3, 2019, as is planned. There are many things to tackle after the referendum. It is not easy to amend a 94-year-old system. It cannot be done suddenly. If that were done in haste, it would become like a military constitution. We will strive to regulate the legal infrastructure of Turkish law until 2019,” Yıldırım said at the meeting. 

“The most important changes will be made in the election and political party laws. We are ready to discuss every topic including the election threshold and single-member district election system,” he said. 

“Those regulations like the election threshold were brought to ensure stability in the system. But with the new system, the president, who will take 50 percent plus 1 of the votes, will provide stability regardless so there will not be any need for additional precautions to ensure stability in the parliament,” he said, adding that the election procedures for parliamentarians could also be changed. 

“We have some models [of parliamentary elections] in our minds. However, it would not be right to reveal such models without reaching a consensus with other political parties,” he said. 

Yıldırım also said the ruling party did not have any plans to conduct joint campaign rallies with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) which allied with the AKP to prepare the constitutional charter. 

“There will not be any joint programs with the MHP in the campaign. There will be some rallies with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the process will continue like this,” he added.