CHP not a charity to secure HDP’s place in parliament: Kılıçdaroğlu

CHP not a charity to secure HDP’s place in parliament: Kılıçdaroğlu

CHP not a charity to secure HDP’s place in parliament: Kılıçdaroğlu

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The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is not a “charity party,” its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, appealing to wavering voters who are thinking about voting for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to help it cross the 10 percent threshold.

“I do not see a large number of votes shifting from the CHP to the HDP. This is because we held primaries to elect our candidates, so now our voters will support them,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Habertürk on May 17. 

When asked about the possibility of some CHP voters opting for the HDP in the June 7 election, he said they “should continue to vote for the CHP.” 

“We are not the Red Crescent. We are not a charity. They should look after their party,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.

The HDP is running for parliament as a party for the first time and there is deep uncertainty as to whether it will pass the 10 percent threshold or not, which will have a significant impact on the future of Turkish politics. If the HDP remains below the 10 percent threshold, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is expected to secure an additional 50 seats in parliament and could get a clear majority for renewing the constitution and therefore adopt the presidential system. 

There are also concerns that exclusion of the HDP from parliament would create a fresh political crisis, and Kılıçdaroğlu said he was in favor of the HDP entering parliament. 

“For me [the HDP being under 10 percent] won’t create a crisis, because it’s the HDP’s decision to run in the election as a party. But, as I said earlier, I don’t find the exclusion of an important political movement from parliament to be right,” he added.  

The CHP head also said he finds HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş to be a “witty person,” campaigning with a sense of humor. 

“The tense atmosphere of recent years has neglected the sense of humor in politics. However, a sense of humor is an indispensable part of our political culture. Demirtaş has it in his campaign,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.