The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is considering fielding its parliamentary candidates under a different party in Turkey’s forthcoming 14 May elections, Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.
The party is contemplating this as a strategy to bypass a possible decision the country’s Constitutional Court may make in coming weeks on an indictment that demands the shutting down of the HDP and banning almost 500 party members from active politics.
The court last week postponed the date for the presentation of the HDP’s defence for the closure case from 14 March to 11 April. Though many saw this as a positive sign, HDP officials are wary that the court could decide in favour of closing the HDP at the last minute to prevent it from running in elections.
Before resorting to the strategy of running under the name of a different party, the HDP will make another application to Turkey’s top court asking it to postpone the date for the defence presentation to after the elections, Duvar said.
If the HDP concludes that it is too risky to run under their own name, their candidates will run under the name of the Green and Left Party, the HDP’s party council decided on Sunday, according to the news site.
Since the Kurdish political movement in Turkey has for decades coped with similar problems in elections, the HDP has the strongest and most disciplined organisation for voter mobilisation in the country. In previous elections, Kurdish parties have distributed lanyards to voters to help them find the party emblem on the ballot in order to avoid any confusion.
During the party council meeting, the HDP also discussed its strategy on presidential elections. The party will decide whether or not to field its own presidential candidate, after a meeting with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and presidential candidate of the Nation Alliance of six opposition parties, expected to take place in coming days.