Pro-Kurdish party calls on opposition to act together for 2nd round of elections

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) Sezai Temelli has called on opposition parties to act together around a joint-protocol should the country’s June 24 presidential election go into a second round, independent news site t24 reported.

Turkey heads to the polls on less than two weeks for parliamentary and presidential elections where current President Recep Erdoğan is looking to retain his seat with the new executive presidential system that will come into effect that grants the elected president vastly increased powers. If none of the presidential candidates reach 50 percent of the votes in the first round of the presidential elections, then the two candidates who receive the highest number of votes will go onto the second round.  Should this happen, the second round will be held on July 8.

‘’There is need for a protocol and there’s no need to lose ourselves in details. It’s either Erdoğan or democracy,’’ Temelli said.

The co-chair of the HDP, whose presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş along with 10 other members are behind bars on a string of terrorism-related charges, said that the ruling alliance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have chosen an election strategy which ostracizes HDP while using hate speech directed at the group.

Temelli recalled that should the HDP fall below Turkey’s election threshold of 10 percent, which is the highest in the world, many of the seats in the mainly Kurdish southeast would likely go to Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

‘’The second round becomes easier for an Erdoğan who’s gained a majority in Parliament, that’s why he will focus on leaving the HDP out of parliament and attaining a majority for a [possible] second round,’’ Temelli said.

In the June 7, 2015 gerneral elections, HDP received 13.5 percent of the votes.