The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) chairperson Hayati Yazıcı said on Thursday that they are stepping up work on political parties and the election law where the election threshold will be lowered from 10% to between 5%-7%.
The AK Party has been preparing a draft of the election and political parties law. It will be finalized after consultation with the commission and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and presented as a bill before the Turkish Parliament.
During the televised interview on CNN Türk, Yazıcı said that his party has making an effort to bring the threshold to a reasonable level.
“Whether it's 7% or 5%, we're doing a study in the form of which is right. It's going to be something between 5% and 10%," he said. "Whatever the electoral threshold is, it will be a condition of being able to receive treasury aid. The political parties that cross the threshold, they will be able to get help," he continued.
The AK Party’s aforementioned law draft on political parties has not been completed yet. The next elections will be held in 2023 and in line with current legislation, the changes can not be applied within a year of election. Therefore, the law draft is expected to be completed one or one and a half years before the elections.
The new law is also likely to make critical changes to Turkey's election threshold, the lawmakers' ability to change parties, prerequisites to participate in elections and an overhaul of the overall election system, among others.
The current 10% threshold and the highest averages method, known as the D'Hondt method, were introduced with the 1982 Constitution, which was adopted in a referendum after the 1980 military coup.
The 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, with small or wing parties gaining Cabinet powers far beyond their votes due to grisly coalition bargaining.