May 20 2018

Victory against Erdoğan impossible without pro Kurdish-HDP - Demirtaş

Jailed Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş said that without the HDP, no opposition alliance could score a victory in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

Demirtaş, who has been in pre-trial detention for 18 months and is possibly facing decades in prison a string of terrorism-related charges, has been unable to campaign for the upcoming snap elections, which will usher in a new presidential system with extended executive powers in place of the current parliamentary system.

The HDP candidate explained that he could only send messages through his lawyers or use regular mail. 

''I am sorry on behalf of my constituents for this incredible injustice and inequality. But personally I am hopeful and strong,’’ the 44-year-old former HDP co-chair noted.

The pro-Kurdish party is the second largest opposition party in parliament and is expected to surpass the 10 percent election threshold.

Demirtaş is up against leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce, nationalist right-wing İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener and leftist nationalist Patriotic (Vatan) Party leader Doğu Perinçek, among others.

Demirtaş noted that without the HDP, no opposition alliance stood a chance at victory against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

‘’Both the polls and the voters gathered at city squares tell us this,’’ Demirtaş said.

When asked what his first move would be if elected president, Demirtaş said, ‘’I would have one Turkish mother and one Kurdish mother who lost their children in the clashes meet, I would kiss their hands [out of respect] and ask for their support and their prayers.’’

The pro-Kurdish HDP received over 13 percent support in the 2015 general elections.