Demirtaş praises HDP’s overcoming of threshold despite ‘injustices’
ANKARA – The Associated Press
Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed presidential candidate of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has praised his party’s success in winning seats in parliament despite “injustices.”
Demirtaş, who has been in pre-trial detention since November 2016 on terror-related charges, was one of five candidates running against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and was forced to lead his campaign from prison. He denies any wrongdoing.
“The fact that I was forced to campaign in detention conditions was the greatest injustice,” he added.
Demirtaş won 8.4 percent of the presidential vote.
“[Turkey] should not give others democracy lessons ... not when opposition leaders are sitting in jail,” Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said.
She also says the issues with Turkey’s large Kurdish minority and the country’s economic development remain “huge challenges.”