Sunday, July 29, 2007

Democrats onto themselves

The injust and anti-democratic 10% threshold for parliamentary elections which the ECHR approved for reasons of “political stability” sends parties to seek new strategies. Among these, the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) announced during its Diyarbakır meeting the decision to nominate independent candidates. The purpose was to overcome the risk of not making it into parliament and prevent the waste of votes in provinces where Kurds are the majority. As it is known, in Turkey, the votes given to parties which do not make it into parliament are shared between those parties which get the remaining votes and do make it into parliament, thus aggravating the injustice in representation.

The day following DTP’s Diyarbakır meeting, the parliament made a constitutional amendment that stipulates that the names of independent candidates will be included on the same ballot paper as the political party. Thus, independent candidates will from now on not have separate ballot papers but their names will be on the same paper with other parties – in much smaller print, of course.

It is evident that this will cause problems for those votes in the southeastern provinces where the literacy rate is low. Those opinions which see the move as “the regime protecting itself” depart from this fact.

How interesting that the AKP (the ruling Justice and Development Party), which has been rendered the target of a military memo and protests, finds itself playing the role of guardian of the regime where the issue of the “threat” of Kurds being represented in parliament is concerned. Would there be any use in reminding the AKP, the ruling party which is second to only DTP in terms of potential votes in the southeast, that being the target of coups or memos does not make them democratic, that being democratic requires a stance which is quite different from opportunism?

Translated by Filiz Toprak

May 18, 2007

No comments: