HDP slams top court’s rejection for urgent review of Demirtaş’s file
The Constitutional Court Commission has rejected the imprisoned Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) presidential candidate’s individual appeal for an urgent examination of the local court’s imprisonment decision, as the HDP criticized the decision of being grounded on a bylaw, which is not in the application.
The HDP candidate Selahattin Demirtaş appealed to the top court on May 29 after the Ankara 19th Heavy Criminal Court ruled for the continuation of his imprisonment for the case where the former HDP co-leader was tried over “being a member of a terrorist organization.”
The Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) has approved his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections that will be held on June 24, Demirtaş said, and demanded the top court bring forward the examination of the file he is currently in prison for.
Demirtaş’s lawyer Ramazan Demir told Hürriyet Daily News that they appealed to the court because “as a person who is a candidate for presidency, he cannot carry out an election campaign like the other five candidates, and this situation violates the free election rights of him and his voters, casting a shadow on the impartiality and legitimacy of the elections.”
The commission sent the file to the court for examination, which will give the final decision on the appeal over imprisonment.
The related commission of the top court rejected the appeal for an urgent examination of the file, referring to the Constitutional Court’s bylaw, which indicates that injunction decisions can only be given where there are serious threats against the applicant’s life and property.
The HDP has criticized the commission’s rejection, arguing that the application did not refer to the bylaw in which the commission grounded its decision.
“It is worth mentioning that we do not have any appeal over the bylaw article 73. Our appeal was based on article 68 of the bylaw demanding prior examination of the file,” the statement from the HDP headquarters read.
“The decision of the Constitutional Court for a demand that was not appealed, clearly indicates that it gives a decision with directives,” the HDP stated.
Demirtaş was arrested in November 2016 and has been in prison since. There are currently more than 30 indictments filed against him, mostly over his public statements. However, he is in prison for only one case where he is tried for being a member of a terrorist organization.