Demirtaş vows to resign if HDP fails to pass threshold

Demirtaş vows to resign if HDP fails to pass threshold

Demirtaş vows to resign if HDP fails to pass threshold

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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has vowed to resign if his party fails to pass the 10 percent election threshold in the June 7 elections, adding a stronger HDP would continue to push forward in the long stagnant Kurdish peace process. 

“Our election agenda is democratic and it offers a high standard of living for everyone. If we fail to communicate it to the Turkish society, then that would be our fault. If the HDP fails to pass the 10 percent election threshold because of my failure to clearly tell people what we have to offer, then I would resign as co-chair of the HDP,” said Demirtaş, speaking on private news channel NTV on May 13.

Demirtaş, however, voiced hope that the HDP would get more than 10 percent of the ballot. “We will gain around 10.5 percent of the total votes, but we must increase that amount to around 13 percent,” he said. 

Finding a solution to the Kurdish peace process, which has long been on hold, will be more feasible and achievable if the HDP gains a foothold in the June 7 elections, Demirtaş said, adding that if the HDP enters parliament stronger after the elections, then it would send a positive message to both the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over the continuation of the peace process.

“If the HDP becomes successful with this election manifesto, then disarmament should be on the agenda,” he added.

Commenting on the presidential system debate and other controversial issues in parliament, Demirtaş said if the AKP were to lose ground and have less members of parliament than they hope to secure in the June 7 elections, the debate over introducing a presidential system will come to an end.

“There are many issues that are yet to be solved in the parliament, such as the definition of citizenship, state governing methods, education in native language... One of the controversial issues is the presidential system. If the AKP fails to found a one-party government after the June 7 elections, that means we will have a weaker AKP in parliament. What will be critical at this point is that a weaker AKP will end the presidential system debate,” Demirtaş said.

The HDP’s co-chair also remarked upon the security of overseas voting, voicing his party’s concerns while also encouraging Turkish citizens abroad to cast their votes.  

“We have security concerns over the Turkish voting system abroad,” Demirtaş said, recalling an incident that took place at the Turkish consulate in Bern, which showed the security rules for ballot boxes had been breached.

“All overseas votes are placed in bundles and kept in locked rooms. Each room has three keys that should be given to the consulate, a representative of the AKP and a representative of the [Nationalist Movement Party] MHP. The door of the room where the ballot boxes are kept cannot be opened unless all three keys are used,” said Demirtaş.

“When a locked room was to be opened in the early morning in Bern, consulate officials figured out the AKP’s representative was out at a rally and they thought they could not open the room. What was surprising is a consulate officer came with a copy of the key the AKP representative had. Copying the keys of those rooms does not abide by the voting laws of Turkey,” he said. 

“I call to all Turkish citizens abroad: Please vote no matter what party you support and back your vote... We are so worried about this issue because of an inconvenience that we heard recently from Bern, Switzerland... As you know, voting has started for Turkish citizens abroad... Turkish voters living abroad can vote in Turkish consulates in their countries of residence,” said Demirtaş.