Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party warns of turmoil if election lost

Deputy chairman of pro-Kurdish opposition party warns of political turmoil if they lose in Turkey’s general election

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The deputy chairman of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Pervin Buldan, warned of a political turmoil if the party does not exceed country’s 10 percent election threshold.

Stating there isn’t any alternative plan if they remain below the electoral threshold and fall outside of the parliament, Buldan said there will be a political crisis in Turkey in case the HDP stays under the threshold.

“Our failure to reach the 10 percent of vote will mean a new crisis. For instance, if the HDP gains three seats in Hakkari [Turkey’s southern province], it will win 90 percent of the vote. The deputies of Hakkari belong to the HDP; but if we cannot pass the election threshold in general, the AK Party [governing Justice and Development Party] will gain those seats. People of Hakkari would not accept that,” said Buldan.

The pro-Kurdish HDP had previously run its candidates as independents to bypass the election threshold which requires 10 percent of the votes for a party to participate in parliament.

The HDP sent 36 independent candidates to parliament in 2011, accounting for 6.5 percent of the vote.

The election threshold law, which was imposed after a military coup in 1982 is a common issue for discussion for a long time in Turkey.

A “Democratisation Package” launched by the government in Sept. 30, 2013 offered three solutions to reformulate the threshold, which include lowering the threshold to 5 percent and introducing a “Regional Boundary Election System” for five regions; abolishing the threshold completely and launching a “Single Member District Election System”; and leaving the threshold as 10 percent as it is.

The Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan condemned the statements of the HDP which he called “threatening,” and said “Policy becomes open to threats to this extend for the first time. Terror organisations became involved in politics,” referring to the relation between the HDP and the outlawed PKK.

The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as NATO and the EU, and is mostly active in the southeastern provinces of Turkey.

The Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) which is the main electoral authority in Turkey, said that 31 parties will be participating in June 7 elections and that approximately 56 million Turkish citizens will vote to elect 550 deputies to send to the Turkish Parliament.

Recently four research companies conducted polls across Turkey ahead of two weeks to the election, showing the most recent predictions on voting rates for the four major parties.

The Genar Research Company has found that 44.5 percent of Turkish citizens will vote for the AK Party, while 25.4 percent will support the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and 15.9 percent will support the right-wing opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Genar’s survey, which was completed on Sunday, predicts the HDP won’t be able to get into parliament due to appearing below the electoral threshold with 9.5 percent.

The Konsensus Research Company came out with almost the same results with a prediction of 43.9 percent for the AK Party and 9.7 percent for the HDP in a survey conducted in May.

According to the opinion poll by Konsensus, the CHP will win 26.7 percent of the votes while MHP will win 15.8 percent.

The SONAR Research Company has found that 41 percent of Turkish citizens will vote for the AK Party, while 26 percent will support CHP and 18.1 percent will support MHP.

Sonar’s survey, which was conducted in May, predicts the HDP will be able to get into parliament due to appearing above the electoral threshold with 10.4 percent.

According to the Andy-Ar Research Company as well, the HDP will succeed in passing the electoral threshold with 10.7 percent of the vote and will participate in the parliament with at least 55 deputies, lowering the deputy count of other three parties currently in the parliament.

The AK Party aims to have at least 367 deputies elected in order to be able to establish a new constitution and be able to introduce the presidential system.

TRTWorld and agencies