Pervin Buldan, the co chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) took a mocking ironic tone as she commented on the governing parties’ attempt to lower the electoral threshold.
The current electoral threshold in Turkey is 10 percent, one of the antidemocratic legacies of the legislation imposed by the military junta after the military coup d’etat in 1980.
The threshold, non existent during the 60s and 70s, serves as a blow to electoral pluralism since it inhibited representation of many political movements in the parliament, especially pro-Kurdish parties, that is until HDP broke through the threshold and emerged as the third largest party in the Turkish National Assembly in the 2015 elections.
While political analysts interpreted the recent attempt to lower the threshold by the governing coalition parties, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as a move to save the MHP from suffering, electorally, from diminishing popularity, Pervin Buldan said in her speech at HDP’s Women’s Assembly that the threshold was now a barrier to the ‘patriarchal order’.
“Those who raised the 10 percent threshold to stop us, had to watch as the women tore it down,” she said. “The threshold couldn’t stop women, but now it’s become a barrier to their own patriarchal order. Now they’re planning to lower the threshold to save themselves. They could neither lower inflation, nor interest rates, nor dollar currency, unemployment, nor the number of cases in the pandemic… And now they’re telling the people suffering from inadequate income that they’ll lower the electoral threshold.”
In her speech, Buldan also criticised the policy of isolation in prison and the inhumane attitude of administration officials towards sick prisoners. She said that denying the sick prisoners the medical treatment they needed was a severe violation of human rights.
“All sick prisoners ought to be released immediately, and their treatment started right away. This cruelty must end,” she said. “We, as HDP, will continue defending a policy for life. We’ll continue to be the voice of our friends and struggle for them on all platforms till they are released. We’ll continue to struggle against isolation.”