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Excluding HDP from opposition alliance against Erdoğan would be risky – Bianet English

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« The HDP said it would « ignore those who ignore us, » after the summit of the six opposition leaders » says Bianet English.

• Six opposition leaders held a round meeting to discuss a broad alliance against Erdoğan

• While HDP has no intentions to join the alliance, it says it should not be ignored in the negotiations to determine a joint candidate

• The opposition needs the HDP’s support to secure the majority of votes and win against Erdoğan

The opposition alliance should not exclude the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) ahead of the presidential election, according to Bekir Ağırdır, the head of KONDA, a prominent polling company.

If the opposition parties don’t put forward a joint candidate, it would increase President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s reelection chances, Ağırdır said during his program on T24 news portal’S YouTube channel.

Leaders of six opposition parties, including the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the İYİ (Good) Party, held a summit on Saturday (February 12) in the capital city of Ankara.

The leaders reportedly discussed forming a broader alliance against Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party, as well as a roadmap for the return to a parliamentary system.

The co-chairs of the HDP, Mithat Sancar and PErvin Buldan, criticized the opposition leaders for refraining from publicly negotiating with the HDP on a joint presidential candidate.

While the HDP had already announced that it would not join the Nation’s Alliance, it should be included in the negotiations for the transition to a parliamentary system and a presidential candidate, Sancar told BBC Turkish in an interview published yesterday (February 16).

« If there is no joint candidate, we’ll decide what we will do … with a pluralist democratic method. In such a case, participating in the elections with our own candidate will definitely be an important option, » he said.

Buldan said on Monday that they knew « how to ignore those who ignore us. »

Erdoğan’s « election skills »

Considering Erdoğan’s experience and « election skills, » it would be risky for the opposition to be divided, Ağırdır asserted.

Erdoğan comfortably won the 2018 election, where he competed against three other candidates, getting 52.6 percent of the votes. Fifty percent plus one vote is needed for being elected as the president.

« The broadest alliance and unity should be ensured for the presidential election … If it’s not won in the first round, you’ll need this unity in the second round anyway, » he remarked.

Ağırdır specifically warned the İYİ Party, a splinter movement from the ultranationalist MHP, to be more inclusive regarding the HDP.

The ruling alliance accuses the HDP of being the « political wing » of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and criticizes the opposition for acting in unison with the « terrorists. »

The İYİ Party and its leader have given mixed messages about the HDP, both describing it as a « legitimate entity » and « in line with the PKK. »

Saturday’s meeting might push the İYİ Party to be more « inclusive, » Ağırdır said. Moreover, he said, the supporters of the İYİ Party are more « open to pluralism » than its leaders.

The İYİ Party should define the Kurdish issue correctly and should not regard it only as a « terror problem, » he added.

According to almost all opinion polls, neither alliance is able to secure 50 percent of the votes, which makes the HDP’s position crucial.

Bianet English, February 17, 2022

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