HDP former co-chair Demirtaş: Turkey’s opposition should have a consensus over democratic values

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When deciding a joint candidate against the ruling bloc in next year’s elections in Turkey, the opposition parties should reach a consensus about the right mentality rather than just simply trying to find a suitable person, said Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) imprisoned former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in an article he wrote for Gazete Duvar.

As the election date approaches in Turkey, questions are asked whether the opposition will nominate a joint candidate, and if so, who will be the candidate.

“‘What does it mean, a joint candidate?’ is a better question than ‘Who is the joint candidate?’” Demirtaş said.

The joint candidate is not about finding another strongman, he said. “It is not about a single party, a single identity, a single belief, but the integration of all social segments and differences, the silhouette of 85 million people in Turkey.”

The common candidate is not a representative of a single ideology, but of real democracy, he wrote, adding. “It is the inclusive power that unites the fragmented and shattered society in the values of democracy.”

Opposition parties should not only aim to win the presidential election by securing the necessary 50 percent plus one vote, but lead the society to prepare a fully democratic constitution, he added.

The common candidate is also the candidate of women’s platforms, environmental movements, unions, professional organisations, chambers, that is, all social segments, he said. “For this, the support of these segments should be obtained and their active participation in the process should be ensured with their own views.”

HDP therefore supports the joint candidate for this reason, not as a cheap bargain for narrow-minded political interests, he added.

“We should aim to win democracy and social peace, along with the election. For this, we must achieve a great social consensus,” he said.

“In the second century, we can embrace the Republic together and make it the Republic for all of us,” he ended. “We can transform it into a democratic, secular, social, egalitarian and just state of law.”


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