Turkish lawmakers brawl after passage of electoral law | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 13.03.2018
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Middle East

Turkish lawmakers brawl after passage of electoral law

Parliamentarians clashed in the chamber after the deputy parliamentary speaker announced the result. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party supported the bill's passage.

Nationalist and opposition lawmakers in the Turkish parliament exchanged punches after passing a controversial electoral law on Tuesday.

Opposition parties had opposed the bill, which they said could threaten the fairness of elections slated to take place in 2019.

But the legislation was approved with the support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party and the nationalist MHP party.

Read more: 'Justice is determined in the presidential palace'

The law would allow the two allies for the first time to form a formal electoral alliance, permitting the MHP to enter parliament even if it fails to get at least 10 percent of the vote.

It would also allow the High Electoral Board to merge voting districts, move ballot boxes between districts and permit the presence of security forces in polling stations if invited by a voter.

Critics, including lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, have lashed out against those changes.

They said the measures would make the voting process less transparent and impede voters in areas of the country where they have strong support from casting their ballot.

Read more: Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP party to select new leadership duo

amp/rc (Reuters, AP)

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