Turkish Parliament Passes Law Reducing Voting Threshold to 7% | world news

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s parliament on Thursday passed a law lowering the minimum number of votes required for a party to enter parliament to 7% from 10%, which could reduce the likelihood of a snap election this year.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK party and its nationalist MHP allies had presented the electoral bill to parliament on March 14, which included regulations on the distribution of parliamentary seats in party alliances.

The bill was expected to become law given the majority of the ruling alliance. It is expected to come into effect in about a year, suggesting that Erdogan – whose opinion polls have hit their lowest level in years – could delay calling a snap election.

Presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for June 2023 and the AKP and MHP have repeatedly said that they will be held on that date.

However, ahead of the bill’s introduction, some analysts had said Erdogan may want an earlier vote ahead of a possible further drop in polls, amid economic turmoil and runaway inflation caused by his push for interest rates. low interest at the end of last year and, more recently, the conflict in Ukraine.

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Seeking to topple long-ruling Erdogan, six opposition parties have formed an alliance and announced a sweeping new governance plan to be implemented if he is elected.

Analysts said the lowering of the threshold was aimed at dividing the opposition and winning more seats for ruling parties by enticing smaller parties to leave the opposition alliance.

Support for the AKP has fallen to around 31% from 42.6% in the 2018 elections, according to recent polls which also show support for the MHP has fallen to around 7% from 11.1%. Together they hold 333 seats in the 600-seat parliament.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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