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Monday, 14 August 2006

Hope is in the air

Bülent Arınç, the speaker of Turkey's parliament, has waded into the discussion over the election threshold. He slated the idea of introducing a threshold for independent MPs, saying it would be "antidemocratic to try and stop an independent candidate from entering parliament". He is absolutely right.

More interesting was his point about the national threshold: "10 percent is too high. Political parties should be represented in parliament according to their share of the vote."

These are encouraging words from a man who, while not quite AKP leader, is ranked above the prime minister in Turkish hierarchy, and is second only to the president. His words contrast those of the PM (see yesterday's entry) and suggest that, rather than there being a rift, there is no official party line on the matter of election thresholds. It is time for cautious optimism - the threshold might just drop yet.

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