The CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called for the termination of the 10% election threshold, terming it ‘an anti-democratic measure against public will.’
“We cannot justify the existence of the 10% election threshold. It needs to be lifted for the sake of fair public representation,” expressed CHP (Republican People’s Party) Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu.
It’s hotly debated how democratic Turkey’s election system actually is. The subject has once again come up as Turkey looks forward to general elections in 2015. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has won back to back elections so far and has governed since 2002.
As the current threshold stands, parties who register under 10% of the vote are unable to have representatives in the Turkish parliament, which in turn favors the party victorious in the elections.
“Even a party who has a 1% vote should be allowed to have a delegate in the parliament,” underlined Kılıçdaroğlu. The CHP chairman also retroactively underlined the current system had given an unfair advantage to the AK Party.
“In spite of winning 34% in 2002 the AK Party got a whopping 65% of the parliament seats and they call this national will,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also pointed out to what he referred as the AK Party’s hypocrisy, noting that the 10% election threshold was brought in by the martial law government of the September 12, 1980 military coup. A key public policy of the AK Party had been its premise of anti-military coup rule in the country’s history.
The CHP chairman also slammed Prime Minister and ex-academic Ahmet Davutoğlu who criticized the CHP’s private meetings. “I don’t know if you are academic or a gossiper.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the military service exemption policy, where by paying a fee individuals can get exemption. “We do not exempt this.. The children of the wealthy get a free pass avoiding military service while the poor don army fatigues.” These very views on military service were in fact once voiced by now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his Prime Ministry.
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