The left-wing Labour and Freedom Alliance aims at winning the highest possible number of seats in the Turkish parliament in the 14 May elections, a joint declaration released by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) said on Saturday.
The HDP, which faces the risk of being shut down by Turkey’s Constitutional Court ahead of the polls, decided last month to field its parliamentary candidates under the Green Left Party list. The pro-Kurdish party last month also announced that it will not nominate its own candidate for the presidential elections, paving the way for a possible victory for Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and presidential candidate of the six-party Nation Alliance, over the current president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Our alliance aims to put an end to the one-man regime in the parliamentary elections as well as in the presidential elections. Our goal is to build Turkey’s democratic future, emerge from the elections with great popular support and ensure a strong parliamentary representation in favour of labour, peace, and democracy,” said the joint declaration read by Green Left Party spokesperson İbrahim Akın during a press conference on Saturday.
The new election law designed by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has rendered more complicated decisions made by election alliances on parliamentary candidates who will run in the polls.
The new rules favour alliances who field their candidates for the parliament under a joint list. Parties in an alliance may also field their candidates under a separate list, however such a strategy risks less representation in the parliament and only helps parties to achieve the seven percent electoral threshold.
The Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP), part of the the left-wing alliance, announced last month that it wanted to field its own candidates under a separate list in at least some provinces in Turkey. The law requires a party to field its candidates in a minimum of 41 provinces to be eligible for parliamentary elections.
After weeks of negotiations among alliance partners, and heated debate particularly on social media, the left-wing parties have reached consensus on their strategy for the parliamentary elections.
According to the joint declaration, five parties in the alliance will field their candidates for Turkey’s 81 provinces under the Green Left Party list, whereas the TİP will compete in the elections with its own lists in 49 provinces and 52 electoral districts, supporting its alliance partners in the remaining places.
The joint declaration stated that the parties in the alliance had analysed all electoral districts individually, taken the parliamentary seats won by the HDP in the past as a basis, and formed their strategy aiming for the highest possible percentage of votes in the 14 May elections and an increased number of MPs in Turkey’s next parliament.
“Following those evaluations, we want to inform you that we have reached a consensus over a method that will realise the target of increasing our number of elected MPs,” the joint declaration said.
“The Labour and Freedom Alliance will achieve one of the greatest surprises of the coming elections. We are aware of the expectations of us. We believe that we will complete these elections achieving a higher than expected rate of success,” said Erkan Baş, TİP leader at the press conference.
“Various discussions have taken place in the last weeks. Criticisms have been made against the alliance, and concerns have been expressed. We have carried out a thorough analysis to alleviate those concerns. Now we are continuing by entering a new phase based on this agreement,” said HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar.
“Now it is time to leave this period behind and look forward. Your target is to send off this government and to change this system,” Sancar added.
“As our field work intensifies, we will show that the concerns expressed are also baseless,” he said.
The declaration of the alliance can be read in full here.