HDP rejects claims it will ally with ruling AKP in presidential polls
ISTANBULThe co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has denied claims that the party will make an allegiance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the upcoming presidential elections, speaking on private news channel Habertürk on June 26.
“No closed-door meeting has taken place between AKP officials and us about the presidential elections.
The AKP and us are rivals in the presidential elections. If we were allied with the AKP then we would not be nominating a name and we should be telling our electorate to vote for the AKP,” Demirtaş said.
The HDP is expected to announce its own candidate on June 29 after the final consultations, he added.
Demirtaş also said he would “not hesitate” to run for the presidency if his party decides to nominate him, but avoided directly stating whether he would be the party’s candidate.
“I would like to [be] perceived as the candidate of all the oppressed and neglected groups in Turkey,” he said.
The HDP is a sister party of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which dominates much of the mainly Kurdish southeast. The HDP was formed late last year to fight the local elections in western Turkey, where Kurds are in a minority.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has still yet to officially declare his candidacy, but is widely expected to run for president.
The opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) last week named former Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) head Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu as their joint candidate, in a bid to unite opposition forces against Erdoğan.
“Mr. İhsanoğlu paid a visit to the HDP today and asked for our support for the second round,” Demirtaş said on Twitter. “Likewise, we told him that we expected his support for our candidate if we make the second round.”
A simple majority is needed on Aug. 10 to avoid a run-off, which could see the opponents of Erdoğan rally behind a single candidate.