All the up and coming dictators and wannabe autocrats follow a simple formula, and that is when the game becomes hard to win, change the rules of the game itself. With its support in polls dropping, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party is considering changes to electoral laws which could rescue its prospects in elections due to be held by 2023, three AK Party officials say.
The economic situation of Turkey is at its all-time low and further going down, in addition, Turkey has lost any geopolitical clout it had, it has also lost its allies be it the USA, European Union among many others. According to polls, the AK Party and its MHP ally have a combined vote share of just 45 per cent. According to pollsters, disgruntled supporters who have broken away from the AK Party seem unlikely to return for the first time. However, Turkish President Erdogan wishes to stay the president for life and he is doing everything possible to ensure it.
Three AK Party sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said plans included dividing large urban electoral districts into smaller constituencies, changes which one party official said could significantly boost the number of AK Party lawmakers. They could also cut the threshold for entering parliament – currently at 10% of votes, one of the highest in the world – to 7%, a move that would reassure Erdogan’s nationalist partners after their support fell below the existing threshold.
Turkey is already on the verge of becoming second Venezuela as a large number of people since late last year are not in a condition to even afford the basic necessities. As per the MetroPoll Research, a respected polling organisation found in a recent survey that 25 per cent of respondents said they could not meet their basic needs. And as the country under Erdogan has been either instigating or supporting military intervention in its neighbourhood and far away too, the financial cost of such adventurism is also stacking up, which are coupled by the leader not listening to his economists and taking the country down with himself.
The Turkish Lira has been battered by a record depreciation down more than 30 per cent against the dollar last year and foreign exchange reserves have been badly depleted. Along with double-digit inflation, the country now faces a balance of payments crisis, Moody’s Investor Service said recently, as per the NYT report. As per the New York Times, recent opinion polls show that the standing of Mr Erdogan’s A.K. Party has fallen to its lowest point in the 19 years it has been at the helm of Turkish politics, hovering around 30 per cent, according to MetroPoll. That figure suggests that the party’s alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party would fail to secure Mr Erdogan the 50 per cent of the vote share needed to win a presidential election.
Read more: Turkey is set to become another Venezuela as 25% of its people cannot even buy food
Support for his Islamist-rooted AK Party, in power since 2002, has fallen to 36% from 42% at the last election, with its nationalist MHP ally slipping to 8%, according to a compilation of 15 recent polls. In such a scenario, Erdogan wants to change the rules of the game and make it more helpful for him and his political party.
Mehmet Ali Kulat, Chairman of Sencar and MAK Consultancy, said a rising number of people were turning their backs on Erdogan’s party without knowing which way they will go. But, realising this, Erdogan, who holds the dream of becoming a caliph and bring back the Ottoman Empire will be okay with dismantling Turkey’s democracy if it results in him holding power for the times to come.
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