Turkish parliament's deputy chair backs voting reform

Ahmet Aydin lends weight to referendum proposal to cut electoral candidates' age limit from 25 to 18 years

Turkish parliament's deputy chair backs voting reform

World Bulletin / News Desk

The deputy chair of Turkey’s parliament has backed a proposed reduction to the minimum age limit for electoral candidates.

Ahmet Aydin, a lawmaker for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, said that he supported the proposal to reduce the current age limit to 18 from 25, in line with most EU states.

The change is part of a wide range of constitutional amendments being proposed in Turkey’s April 16 referendum.

Talking to Anadolu Agency, Aydin said almost 80 percent of EU states had a voting age of 18, as did Turkey.

"We give the right to elect. Why should we not trust the same youth and not give them the right to be elected?" Aydin asked.

He also raised the proposal to increase of the number of lawmakers in Turkey’s parliament from 550 to 600.

"Turkey is last in Europe in the representation ratio of one MP," Aydin said.

He added that one lawmaker represented on average about 40,000 voters in EU countries but in Turkey one parliamentary deputy corresponded to around 103,000 electors.  

"For a greater, more just representation, MP numbers must be increased to 600," Aydin added.

The constitutional changes have been discussed since Recep Tayyip Erdogan was voted in as president in August 2014.

An 18-article bill was passed by parliament in January, with 339 votes in favor -- nine more than what was needed to put the proposal to a referendum.

These reforms would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president and the post of prime minister would be abolished. The president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.

Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new constitution.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Mart 2017, 13:59