Demirtas: Nationalists will be responsible if consensus not reached on opposition candidate
Selahattin Demirtas, the imprisoned former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said that the nationalist wing of the opposition bloc in Turkey will bear the responsibility if the parties fail to reach a consensus on the bloc's presidential candidate.
Asked to comment on the objections of the nationalist Good Party to nominating a candidate who will also be supported by HDP, and on the possible consequences of a failure to nominate such a candidate, Demirtas told PIRHA news agency:
"If there is no consensus on a joint candidate, HDP will naturally go on and nominate its own candidate for the first round. If there is a second round in the elections, decisions to be made will depend on circumstances. It is not possible for HDP to make any binding statement beforehand. HDP has the most cooperative approach on these issues anyway. Everybody should know that if a consensus is not reached on a joint candidate, the nationalist wing of the Table of Six will bear the responsibility for that."
Demirtas was also asked to comment on the objections to main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu's candidacy over his Alevi identity. He said:
"This is a disgraceful, discriminative, racist approach. It should not be allowed to be legitimized by any mean. Nobody should take such discussions seriously, and everybody should refrain from contributing. The important thing is not one's identity or denomination, but one's character and virtue. We are all aware that Alevis have been subjected to discrimination in Turkey. We should bravely fight against this altogether."
The Table of Six, an election alliance in the making of six center and right wing opposition parties, are criticized for not having announced a joint candidate 100 days to the elections, and for holding discussions on the issue in public instead of closed meetings.
The six-party bloc consists of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), nationalist opposition Good Party, center right Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), Future Party, Democrat Party and the Islamist Felicity Party.