Brawl in Turkish parliament after MPs vote to revamp electoral regulations

Turkish forces ‘surround’ Syrian Kurdish city

That alliance would permit the smaller party to hold seats in parliament even if it doesn't pass the 10-percent electoral threshold.

After the result was announced, a brawl erupted between nationalist lawmakers and those from the main opposition, Reuters reported. A number of MPs started a fist fight and shoved and chased one other in the chamber. Turkey's overheating economy is looking somewhat fragile and waiting another year until holding the election might risk a fall-off in support for Erdogan and the government.

Ballots that aren't stamped by the local electoral board will still be admissible - formally approving a practice that caused a widespread outcry from government critics and concern from election monitors at a referendum past year.

The ruling party says the amendments are required to ensure "electoral security" in Turkey's mainly-Kurdish southeast region where it claims Kurdish rebels use threats or force to influence voters.

The bill also awards authorities the power to appoint government officials to run ballot stations, relocate election stations on security grounds and allow law-enforcement officials to monitor voting inside polling stations. "We will go to the constitutional court regarding the unconstitutional nature of this regulation", said Ozgur Ozel, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

The changes would also allow the electoral authority to count as valid ballot papers lacking an official stamp - a practice that had led to accusations of fraud during a referendum previous year, which the opposition unsuccessfully challenged at a higher court.

Moreover, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has warned that such measures could lead to ballot boxes being moved out of districts where the HDP enjoys strong support. The HDP denies this. The fact that parliament is already moving to adopt the changes may point to a possible plan to move the poll to this summer.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously managed to secure changes in Turkey's constitution to establish a new presidential system and abolish the once-powerful office of the prime minister.

That vote was marred by a last-minute decision by the High Electoral Board to accept unstamped ballots.

"The amendments to the electoral law are not related to law or political practices", said lawmaker Meral Danis Bestas.

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