Turkey’s parliament debates changes to electoral laws

 Turkey’s parliament has begun debating changes to Turkey’s electoral laws that critics say are designed to help President Recep Tayyip Erdogan consolidate power and could lead to election fraud.
The debate opened Monday before crucial elections next year, when Erdogan will need to secure 51 percent of the vote to remain at the helm, in a new system that expands the president’s powers.
The changes would allow Erdogan’s ruling party to enter a formal alliance with the nationalist party, permitting the smaller party to grab parliamentary seats even if it fails to pass the 10-percent electoral threshold. In turn, Erdogan would secure the nationalists’ continued support.
The opposition says other amendments, including the right to count ballot papers lacking official stamps, will lead to fraud.