Government to make amendments in election laws

Government to make amendments in election laws

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government is expected to amend election laws to harmonize recent laws with the presidential system.

Ramping up its efforts to harmonize laws with the presidential system, the government will make amendments to the political party law, law on basic provisions for elections, the parliamentary election act, the local administration election act, the presidential elections act and the referendum act, to adapt them to the new presidential system. The amendments to be applied are expected to come into force in the upcoming legislative period.According to the amendments, political parties will be able to nominate only one candidate for president. In the event that a candidate nominated by a party dies or withdraws, the party will not be able to nominate another person as a candidate. In recent practice, parties were able change the person they nominated in an emergency situation.

Another change envisaged by the amendments is that the parties would support their candidate in campaigns. Candidates for president will be able to use flags, banners and logos of their nominating party.Parties will also be able to hold campaigns for the benefit of the candidate they nominated. Candidates will be allowed to use their party's resources for their election campaign and the party name on voting papers. Independent candidates for presidency will not use their names on voting papers.

The term "main opposition" will not be used under the Constitution and laws. According to the new amendment, the parties will hereafter be named: Primary party, secondary party and third party. Procedures regarding talk time, protocol order, ballot box and voting will be changed hereunder.

In line with lowering the age of candidacy to 18, laws will be accorded to allow younger individuals to become candidates for mayor, city council and local authoritative positions. The candidate's military service should be delayed or completed to be a candidate for mayoral positions, as well as candidates for members of Parliament.

The period of the election process is expected to be lowered from 90 days to 60 days. On the condition of a death or resignation, the election period will be 45 days as ruled in the Constitution.

In case of an early election, the length of the election period has yet to be determined. If Parliament decides on an early election, the date of the election will be determined by Parliament.

On the other hand, if the date of election has yet to be decided, the decision will be made by the president. The date is expected to be a fixed 60 days for both conditions.

As for independent candidates, the provision, which allows independent people to be presidential candidates on the condition that they provide 100,000 supporting citizens' signatures, will be amended.

The amendment will include an investigation into the supporting signatures as a precaution against forgery. Notaries and district election boards are to be used to prevent forged signatures.

The fee for becoming a presidential candidate will be decided according to the civil servant coefficient.