Turkish nationalist opposition seeks to secure parliamentary future
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.