Elections in Turkey: a wide range of parties, but political pluralism limited by 10 per cent electoral threshold

According to PACE, the parliamentary elections of 7 June 2015 in Turkey were marked by active citizen participation during the campaign and by a high turnout on polling day. The report drawn up by Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), approved today by the Assembly, stresses that voters could choose from a wide range of political parties but the 10 per cent threshold to enter parliament limited political pluralism. PACE reiterated its request to the Turkish authorities to lower this threshold substantially in future.

The report states that in general the elections were administered in a professional manner and that fundamental freedoms were respected. However, the parliamentarians expressed their concern over the “high number of attacks on party offices and serious incidents of physical attacks during the campaign,” some resulting in fatalities. They asked that the results of the investigations launched by the authorities “should be made public as soon as possible and perpetrators should be brought before the courts”.

Lastly, the Assembly deplores the fact that media outlets and journalists critical of the ruling party were subjected to pressure and acts of intimidation by the political leaders during the campaign.