HDP: We are ready for the elections

Turkish President Erdogan wiped out a year and a half of parliamentary mandate when he announced, this week, that there will be early political and presidential elections.

The new date for the elections scheduled for November 2019 is now 24 June. Erdogan and his MHP have already put in motion their electoral machines, despite the harsh criticism the maneuver has received.

HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Amed MP, Ziya Pir, spoke to ANF about the context in which the election decision was taken and the attitude of the HDP.

Recalling that the MHP and the AKP have formed a coalition since the 7 June 2015 general elections, Pir noted that the coalition indeed had no long life, and discording voices had already begun to emerge.

Pointing out that the AKP and MHP alliance did not provide the increase in vote the government expected, Pir said: "AKP MPs are complaining that despite the alliance with the MHP there is not any increase in vote. So they said that this alliance in fact has no meaning. This shows us that the alliance was going to break. In order to act before the rupture, the Coalition's minor partner, Bahceli, came out with an exit to the crisis, calling for early elections. The day of this announcement, the alliance began to crack. They could not have continue for another 18 months. By that time, the vote would probably have fallen below 40 percent. This coupled with the fact that Turkey is heading quickly towards a deep economic crisis made the trick”.

Reminding that the MHP-AKP coalition has ruled the country under the OHAL (State of Emergency) for almost two years, Pir added: “As they cannot rule the country, and in order to prevent a dramatic fall of their votes, they have decided to call an early election. When we look at the statement calling early elections, we can see that in fact this decision was not taken recently. For example, AKP spokesman Mahir Unal said: “We already have our election song ready”. This discourse indicates that they have been working on early elections for several months. If this were not enough, the president called for early elections despite this being a decision the parliament should take. The President didn’t even bother to ask parliament to discuss a date, he just presented at fait accompli. This is yet another example of the state of democracy in Turkey”.

Noting that HDP would be working under martial law conditions, Pir said that the party will be ready for the elections. Pir said: "Now we have a two-month period for election work. We of course are concerned about how both the HDP and opposition parties could actually work under emergency rule. It is clear that the AKP doesn’t want us to carry on our election work. It would be hard, we will probably have to work on conditions worse than the 1 November elections. But, we in the HDP are always ready for elections. We, as Kurdistan deputies, are always among our people. We are always on the field, visiting houses and shops. We actually never stop working. We will try to increase our votes by intensifying our existing activities during this 2 months period. I believe that no honourable kurd will give his vote to the MHP-AKP fascist alliance”.

Pir underlined that the AKP thought it could get votes after the occupation of Afrin. He said: “There was no success in Afrin. They invaded a small town and they loathed it. They got Free Syrian Army killers there. Indeed the AKP hoped to distract people from the real problems in Turkey”.

Coming to the debate on election alliances, HDP Amed deputy Ziya Pir said: "First of all, we need to divide the elections into two. On the same day, in fact, people will be called to vote for the president and for the parliament. When it comes to the parliamentary election, we, as HDP, do not need to make any alliance. Indeed we are already an alliance party, as within the HDP you find non-governmental organizations and other democratic forces. We don’t have a problem in overcoming the threshold. We got more than 10% of the votes. Those who need an alliance are parties that cannot overcome the threshold, like MHP. As to the presidential election, we will appoint our candidate in the coming week”.