CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu calls to end election threshold

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.

Source

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About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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