Adjustment laws on local elections to be discussed in Parliament


An adjustment laws package covering the changes to be made in regards to the local elections will be discussed to Parliament this week, reports said.

The changes in local elections will be discussed in the Parliamentary Constitution Committee After the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) brought the regulation package last week to Parliament.

AK Party Deputy Chairman Hayati Yazıcı stressed previously that an adjustment laws package, which must be approved in the Parliament since it concerns the March 2019 local elections, would be submitted as soon as possible.

The election age will be reduced from 25 to 18 for local elections as in general elections. Also, election safety will be a top priority. According one of the articles of the 26-article bill submitted to Parliament jointly by the AK Party and the MHP ordinary citizens will be allowed to call the police or security forces if unease erupts at a polling station. The ninth article also stresses that envelopes not stamped by an election board or balloting committee will also be counted as legal votes.

"These works have been completed in coordination with our friends that have been working in regards to the electoral legislation," Yazıcı said.

In order to implement such changes for the local elections to be held in March 2019, the amendment to the law must be made by March at the latest. According to the Constitution, to implement the changes to elections made in the election law, one year needs to pass after they were first ratified.

As a constitutional change is required to implement the new regulations for elections without waiting for a year, AK Party officials were reportedly working around the clock to bring the packages to Parliament before the deadline.

Last week, the AK Party and the MHP together presented the 26-article-bill to Parliament in a historic move that is supposed to change the political culture in the country. Apart from the changes to be made in the local elections, parties will now be able to form alliances in the general elections.

The controversial topic, which was brought to agenda after MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli expressed his will that his party would support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for re-election in 2019 presidential elections, has now been legally submitted to Parliament.

Previously, it was reported that the AK Party and the MHP would form an alliance in local elections as well. However, MHP Chairman Bahçeli ruled out speculations in January, saying that it would be "too far-fetched."

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