AK Party to propose electorate vote for deputies from party lists

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 16.10.2017 23:52

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is working on a "preferential election system," which allows citizens to vote for a person alongside a party in accordance with its efforts to update the current laws in-line with the presidential system.

As Turkish Parliament adopts adjustment laws for the presidential system, the AK Party has been carrying out work to align the election system and political parties act with the presidential system by assigning 12 people to work on a new system. In this framework, the election threshold and election system will be accorded. As a result, the AK Party has been working on drafts for a new election system as well as a political party act. Of the several drafts related to the new election system, a system called the "narrowed preferential system" is the most prominent among the possible options.

According to the narrowed preferential system, which was last implemented in Turkey in 1991, the number of polling districts will be increased. In the provinces represented by more than six deputies, there will be more than one polling district. The parties would nominate twice as many candidates as the number of deputies for the polling district. The parties will finalize their slates of candidates before delivering the final candidate list to the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK).

However, pursuant to the narrowed preferential system, electors will choose the candidate of a party as well as the party and, therefore, can change the order in the slate of candidates that the parties formerly delivered to the YSK. Accordingly, ballot papers will include the names of the candidates of the parties as well as the parties' names. Citizens will first vote for a party and then vote for the candidate that he or she wants to choose as a deputy.

In recent practice, the nominees listed at the top of a slate of party candidates were generally elected as deputies on the grounds that the citizens would vote for a party rather than individual candidates. If a party placed a deputy candidate at the end of the slate, his or her chances of being elected greatly decreased. Since a party should constitute the majority in Parliament in order to come to power, electors are voting for the party that they want to see in power. Thus, with the expected amendments to the election system, all nominees will have an equal chance of being elected, regardless of their position on the slate of candidates, and the efforts of the nominees will greatly affect the results. Likewise, citizens will be able to vote for the candidates they want without worrying about the party they support and will choose people that they want to govern Turkey. In this situation, parties should nominate strong candidates for elections and make every effort to nominate people supported by the voters.

In line with its efforts to update the current system, the AK Party is also considering implementing a system in which the first 100 deputies in Parliament would be elected with regard to their percentage of votes. This system is called "Turkey's deputyship." In the event that "Turkey's deputyship" system is rejected, the AK Party is also working on different variations of it.

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