The Justice Ministry took a step to amend the long-debated Political Parties Law and Electoral Law. The current Electoral Law was passed in 1961, after the 1960 military coup, and the Political Parties Law in 1983, following the 1980 coup. The government has pledged to amend these two controversial laws, which carry the residue of military tutelage, in the government action plan as one of the reforms that needs to be accomplished this year.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on his Twitter account Saturday that two commissions have been established to prepare the new drafts of the Political Parties and Electoral Laws. "These commissions will present the draft to the Justice Ministry in April, and then it will be discussed. After evaluating suggestions and criticism, the draft will be sent to the Cabinet in September 2016 and the draft laws will be sent to Parliament in October at the latest," Bozdağ said on Saturday. He concluded that "The year of 2016 will be the year that Turkey will get rid of the Political Parties Law and Electoral Law that were designed with a pro-coup mindset."
Turkey's electoral system and 10 percent national election threshold has faced extensive criticism for limiting representation in Parliament. Last July, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was in favor of lowering the 10 percent election threshold that political parties need to pass in order to be represented in Parliament. Turkey's election threshold, the highest in the world, has been a topic of debate for some time, with minor parties and others whose votes hover around the threshold consistently calling for it to be lowered.
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