Demirtas launches electoral campaign for “democracy”

Demirtas launches electoral campaign for “democracy”
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Selahattin Demirtas called on Turkey to walk together for democracy until the election day

Imprisoned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas has launched an electoral campaign via Twitter on Monday, calling on Turkey to walk shoulder to shoulder until the election day.

“Let's start our campaign with the widest participation, not for a name or a party, but for democracy,” pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party’s (HDP) former co-chair Demirtas said.

Turkey is gearing up for presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June this year, arguably one of the most critical polls in the country’s history. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, supported by his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) governing ally far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will run for another term for presidency in the elections. Six opposition parties, including the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) who teamed up to restore a parliamentary system in Turkey, are also working to put forward a joint candidate to run against Erdogan.

Turkish parliament’s second largest opposition HDP on the other hand announced in July that it is open to negotiations over the idea of supporting a joint opposition candidate for the presidential elections but will also consider putting forward its own candidate should its concerns are not addressed.

Demirtas remains behind bars since 2016 on terrorism charges, despite several domestic and international court orders for his release, including the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).