HDP: Election message taken, more inclusive policies to be embraced
The 9.76 percent vote received by Demirtaş in the first-ever direct presidential election on Aug. 10 has been seen as pushing the 'psychological threshold' of 10 percent.The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), whose co-leader and presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş has been widely cited as “the second winner” of the recent election, has stated that Demirtaş’s relatively strong performance shows the reward to be gained by embracing “inclusive policies” and will also put a heavier responsibility on its shoulders.
A joint declaration released on Aug. 13 by the HDP with the People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) stated that Demirtaş’s election platform expressed the search for a “democratic and egalitarian life” and signaled that such an inclusive policy would be sought from now on, while also reflecting the HDP’s will to become a nationwide “party of Turkey.”
“We will work determinedly and meticulously in order to fulfill the requirements of the strong messages that displayed how the HDP-HDK understanding has been met with interest and excitement in very diverse circles,” said the declaration, released following a joint meeting of the HDP’s Party Assembly and the HDK’s General Assembly.
“We will accelerate our work for renewing our organization and spreading it across the whole of Turkey. In this context, starting from today, we are beginning our preparations and planning for the general elections,” the two bodies said, referring to the June 2015 parliamentary elections.
“We will continue expanding with the uniting and rebuilding language, style and political content that we embraced during this campaign,” they added, reflecting the HDP’s aim to move beyond its earlier limited definition of sharing the same grassroots as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“On the other hand, this election success is an important source of assurance that the current government and state forces cannot act as they wish any longer,” the declaration also said.
Up to now, the infamous 10 percent election threshold for a party to be represented at Parliament has prompted minor pro-Kurdish parties to resort to a variety of different formulas to secure representation at the national assembly. Thus, the 9.76 percent vote received by Demirtaş in the first-ever direct presidential election on Aug. 10 has been seen as pushing the “psychological threshold” of 10 percent.
In the June 2011 parliamentary elections, candidates backed by the then-Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) ran as independents for the Labor, Democracy and Freedom Bloc to overcome the threshold, and independent deputies then formed a parliamentary group after being elected to Parliament.
The HDK’s foundation is based on the idea of the Labor, Democracy and Freedom Bloc. The HDP was formed as an umbrella party, incorporating the BDP and a number of smaller leftist parties following a suggestion made by the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan. The party held its first extraordinary congress in late September,
In April, in the run-up to the presidential elections, BDP lawmakers joined their sister party, the HDP. In July, the BDP changed its name to the Party of Democratic Regions (DBP).