• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > World

Polls Open in Turkey amid Concerns over Stability

  • A boy pushes a cart on a street past election banners of the pro-Kurdish HDP in Diyarbakir.

    A boy pushes a cart on a street past election banners of the pro-Kurdish HDP in Diyarbakir. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 October 2015

The country goes to polls for the second time this year in parliamentary elections that could increase the power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Polls opened in Turkey at 8 a.m. local time this morning to once again elect representatives in parliament after elections in June failed to yield a coalition government.

Voting will take place in all 81 provinces in the country by the more than 50 million registered voters, of a population of 75 million.

Turkey’s parliament, the grand national assembly, has 550 seats, 276 of which are needed for a single-party rule majority. At least 367 seats are needed to change the constitution directly, while 330 seats are needed to call a referendum to put any changes to a popular vote.

The AKP has been seeking to change the constitution to grant more power to the president.

RELATED: In Depth: Turbulence in Turkey

There is a 10 percent vote threshold that parties are required to pass in order to gain representation in the parliament. In June, the pro-Kurdish HDP party secured 13 percent of the vote, gaining 80 seats in the assembly.

The HDP's win ended 12 years of single party rule by the AKP. Many believe the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sabotaged talks over forming a coalition government in order to force another election.

RELATED: Why Turkey's Ruling Party Wants Elections Twice in a Year

Polls will close at 5 p.m. local time and results will roll out throughout the evening as counting takes place. The final results are expected in the next few days.

Rolling averages of the last five polls published by Turkish pollsters suggest that the HDP will once again cross the 10 percent threshold needed to join the assembly.

The polls also suggest that the AKP will remain the largest party but will still far short of the number of seats needed to unilaterally change the constitution. Whether it will have enough seats for single-party rule – 276 – is still too close to call.

RELATED: Turkish Elections: Last Exit Before the Bridge?

Post with no comments.