Buldan, Sancar HDP co-chair front runners in upcoming congress – Mezopotamya

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers Mithat Sancar and Pervin Buldan are emerging as the party chair front-runners for the HDP’s general congress on Sunday, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported.

The party’s Reconciliation Commission, which is set to make an announcement ahead of congress, has narrowed down a list of candidates with the pair taking the lead, Mezopotamya said. 

The HDP,  currently chaired by Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli, will convene in Ankara for its 4th annual general congress under heightened security measures, including 400 safety personnel, it said. 

A deputy from Turkey’s eastern province of Iğdır, Buldan  has served as HDP co-chair since February 2018.

Sancar, elected from the southeastern province of Mardin, has been serving as lawmaker with the party since 2015.

The HDP became the first pro-Kurdish political party to pass Turkey’s 10 percent electoral threshold in June 2015, and has held on to gain representation in parliament in each election since.

The Turkish government accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interest of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The HDP denies any links. Ankara has led years-long crackdown on the group, including the jailing of the party’s former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, among others, and removing the HDP mayors from office in the country’s Kurdish-majority southeast.