The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is reportedly days away from finalizing a package for adjustment laws made in accordance with the constitutional changes approved in the April 16 referendum.
According to sources close to the party, the nearly completed work for adjustment laws also includes the speculated alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the general elections and possibly presidential elections.
The AK Party will place the first package, which focuses on the local elections, in Parliament by the end of January. The package will look to lower the age requirement to stand as a candidate in an election from 25 to 18. To implement this regulation in local elections in March 2019, the amendment must be approved by March 2018. According to the Constitution, the changes cannot affect an election if they were made less than a year before. However, this rule will not be in action for the 2019 general and presidential elections. This package is expected to be discussed in the spring.
The AK Party has signaled that regulations to legalize election alliances will be included in the second package of adjustment laws. Changes to make alliances possible will be submitted to Parliament as well. The election threshold, meanwhile, may not be lowered for the sake of "a strong Parliament." An article in the Turkish language daily Haber Türk claimed that the AK Party was not in favor of lowering the threshold, which was suggested by the MHP.
The current 10-percent threshold, along with the highest averages method known as the D'Hondt method, was introduced with the 1982 Constitution, which was adopted in a referendum after the 1980 military coup.
The main aim of the threshold was to prevent political instability as the former system of proportional representation introduced with the 1961 Constitution led to fragile coalition governments in the 1970s.
The AK Party's work on creating alliances was also reported in the media. According to its plan, parties will be represented on ballots with their emblems, parliamentary lists will be jointly prepared, votes will be counted as total votes for parties, and parliamentary distribution will be made accordingly.
The MHP previously had said that it would assist the AK Party in the adjustment laws process.
"If the ruling party sends a resolution to us, we would contribute to the adoption of adjustment laws at the earliest by analyzing and working on the resolution," MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said in October.
The MHP administration will seek support from the party grassroots on the issue of forging an alliance with the AK Party.
Bahçeli's formula called an "Alliance of the People" will be explained to the party grassroots in detail. The party is expected to hold a grand convention on March 18.
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