Turkish court refuses to hear election threshold complaints
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
DAILY NEW PhotoThe Constitutional Court has once again refused to hear appeals to remove the 10 percent election threshold, which parties in the country need to surpass in order to win representation in parliament.
The court rejected on March 5 appeals from three minor Turkish political parties, the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Great Union Party (BBP) and the Felicity Party (SP), citing lack of jurisdiction.
Appeals to the Court can only be made against allegedly mistaken practices or non-implementation of legislation, not directly against legislation, the court ruled.
Two members of the court’s general board, Osman Alifeyyaz Paksüt and Erdal Tercan, expressed opposing views.
In a key ruling earlier in January, the Constitutional Court had also refused to hear individual complaints filed for the lowering of the threshold.
The top court’s decision came ahead of Turkey’s general elections in June.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has played an active role in the ongoing Kurdish peace process talks, is one of the parties expected to come close to the 10 percent threshold in the June elections.
Under the current system, political parties in Turkey must have at least 10 percent of votes nationwide to gain parliamentary representation, the highest such threshold in Europe.
In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had ruled that Turkey’s election threshold did not violate the right to free elections and was not a violation of human rights, but it did add that it was “desirable” to lower it.