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CHP won't take oath until colleagues released, says Kılıçdaroğlu

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 6/28/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey's main opposition leader addressed party members Tuesday and said the party’s deputies would not take their parliamentary oaths until two incarcerated party colleagues were released

Turkey's main opposition leader addressed party members Tuesday and said the party’s deputies would not take their parliamentary oaths until two incarcerated party colleagues were released from prison and allowed to do so as well.

Republican People's Party, or CHP, leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has severely criticized a court decision preventing elected CHP deputies Mehmet Haberal and Mustafa Balbay from entering Parliament.

"We will not take the parliamentary oath until our friends are allowed to do so," said Kılıçdaroğlu.

The CHP opposed the hijacking of the rights of their friends who entered the elections with the approval of the prosecution and the Supreme Election Board, or YSK, and without any past convictions or sentences, legitimately won seats in Parliament.

He said they wanted the principle of being "innocent until proven guilty" upheld.

Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his harsh attitude toward the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP.

"We supported the prime minister's entry into Parliament in 2003 due to our belief in democracy and the rule of law. We did not ask whether the AKP [Justice and Development Party] could not find anyone else to run as a candidate," Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to Erdoğan’s comment about barred candidate Hatip Dicle’s candidacy.

"We will stand against this march toward civilian dictatorship and we will stand against the AKP," Kılıçdaroğlu said.

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