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6/4/15

Turkey′s election system the ′most unfair′ in the world

With days to go until general elections, the fairness of Turkey's voting system has come under international scrutiny. When compared with other democracies, the Turkish voting system appears to be designed to leave underdogs in the lurch.

The British daily newspaper The Guardian reported that Turkey had "the world's most unfair election system." This was based on the fact that a 10 percent threshold kept smaller political movements from entering parliament - forfeiting dozens of seats to their rivals under the country's d'Hondt voting system, which allocates parliamentary seats proportionally according to vote totals.

The Guardian's primary criticism is that Turkey only allocates seats to parties that win at least 10 percent of the vote.

Though such a barrier is not exclusive to Turkey, 10 percent is the highest threshold of its kind. German politics employ a 5 percent threshold, and many other countries - the United Kingdom, France and Portugal among them - don't feature any such hurdle.

The Turkish voting system is also regarded as unjust for facilitating minority governments. Under certain circumstances, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) could manage to gain a majority of parliamentary seats with merely 45 percent of the popular vote, in which case the wishes of 55 percent of the electorate could effectively be ignored.

These guidelines could create an unpredictable outcome at Sunday's polls. While AKP has managed to grow support in its 13-year-reign, taking full advantage of the 10 percent threshold, the latest polls suggest that its luck may change. The Konda Research and Consultancy institute in Istanbul gave the party of President Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu only about 41 percent of the vote.

Read more: Turkey′s election system the ′most unfair′ in the world | News | DW.DE | 04.06.2015

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