Turkey's snap polls raise question marks on electoral process

A two-month electoral process has chaotic uncertainties considering unlawful implementations of the Supreme Electoral Council in favour of President Erdoğan's government
Thursday, 19 April 2018 21:37

As Turkish President Erdoğan announced to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 after he met his ally Devlet Bahçeli, the chair of the fascist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the debates on the electoral process have turned into chaos.

As Erdoğan’s AKP government and its ally MHP party have decided to hold early elections two months later, which are scheduled to be held in November 2019 according to the electoral calendar, how the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) will organize the electoral process remains enigmatic.

Voters criticize the electoral council (YSK) for acting dependently on Erdoğan’s AKP party, considering that the YSK imposed many unlawful electoral decisions on political parties and controversially made a last minute decision to regard unsealed ballots valid just as the votes were counted at the April 2017 constitutional referendum.

The list of the political parties that are entitled to enter the elections is still unknown, moreover, how the regulation enabling parties to form electoral alliances will work is still a question mark, needless to say, that the procedures of nominating presidential candidates are even uncertain.


Many political parties, including the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), which have met the eligibility criteria for elections, confront the danger of being prevented from attending the elections due to the unlawful implementations and impositions of the electoral council.

The eligibility of the fascist ‘Good Party’ is also under debate, considering that the electoral law says that the political parties should complete their congresses at least six months before any elections.

Yet another question mark is whether the electoral council will prepare a new regulation to include the ‘Good Party’ in the snap polls while excluding other parties such as the TKP.

Some Turkish media outlets reported today that the YSK informed the AKP government, saying that it could not complete electoral preparations in two months, but the government ordered the electoral council to complete the procedures as soon as possible.

The Turkish parliament passed a new law on pre-election alliances and electoral regulations on March 13. The law package was accepted with the majority votes of lawmakers from the ruling AKP party and its ally MHP party.

As the new electoral law entitles the YSK to accept unsealed ballots as valid, it also enables political parties to enter into elections in alliance with their party emblems on ballot papers. Considering that the upcoming elections will be held on June 24, how this alliance system will be implemented remains uncertain.

The electoral council is expected to announce the list of the eligible parties for the upcoming elections as soon as possible. Considering that the YSK has already carried out many unlawful practices in favour of the rule of Erdoğan’s AKP party, it may impose new “procedures” to exclude some parties from the elections.

Erdoğan as the candidate of the AKP and MHP parties and Meral Akşener from the ‘Good Party’ have already been announced as presidential candidates for the snap elections on June 24. The parliamentary main opposition Republican People’s Party and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are also expected to nominate their candidates. As some parties are in talks for possible alliances, the process is chaotic due to the electoral council’s unpredictable decisions.