Turk­ish na­tion­al­ist op­po­si­tion seeks to se­cure par­lia­men­tary fu­ture

Daily Messenger - - International -

ANKARA: Tur­key’s na­tion­al­ist op­po­si­tion will seek sup­port from the rul­ing AK Party to lower a 10 per­cent thresh­old to en­ter par­lia­ment, a party of­fi­cial said on Thurs­day, in a sign that a new ri­val po­lit­i­cal party could shake up Turk­ish pol­i­tics. For­mer in­te­rior min­is­ter Meral Ak­sener broke with the Na­tion­al­ist Move­ment Party (MHP) and formed her own Iyi Parti (“Good Party”) last month, pos­ing a chal­lenge to the MHP and to Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan’s AK Party.

Speak­ing to re­porters in Ankara, MHP Deputy Chair­man Semih Yal­cin said his party, which could fall be­low the thresh­old if Iyi Parti’s ap­par­ent early pop­u­lar­ity is sus­tained, would push to lower the bar­rier.

“The MHP has prepa­ra­tions re­gard­ing the (thresh- old) elec­toral law, and this will be dis­cussed de­pend­ing on the of­fers we re­ceive (from theAK Party),” Yal­cin said, a day after MHP leader Devlet Bahceli called the thresh­old “too harsh”.

Since 1982, po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Tur­key have needed to win at least 10 per­cent of votes to be rep­re­sented in the 550-seat par­lia­ment. The coun­try faces pres­i­den­tial and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in 2019. A re­cent poll sug­gested that Ak­sener’s party could over­take the main op­po­si­tion sec­u­lar CHP and push the MHP and proKur­dish op­po­si­tion HDP out of par­lia­ment by forc­ing their share of the vote be­low the cur­rent thresh­old. It would also cut into the AK Party share of the vote.

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