Press TV, Istanbul
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party and its allies have announced that they will not field a candidate to run against President Erdogan on May 14.
HDP co-chairwoman Pervin Buldan made the announcement in a presser for the Labor and Freedom Alliance, which includes the the HDP, the Turkish Workers’ Party and other leftist parties.
Although it was not made clear during the conference, the announcement means the HDP will support the opposition national alliance candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
The announcement is considered a major setback for Turkish President Erdogan, as the HDP is the third largest party in parliament.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the opposition bloc’s cooperation with pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party, saying alliances should focus on common principles rather than negotiations over seats.
On Tuesday, the day before the announcement, Kilicdaroglu met with HDP leadership in the parliament building in Ankara, during which he made promises to remove restrictions on the Kurdish language and address other related issues.
The May 14 election looks to be a tough one for the ruling party and its allies. Many say Kurdish voters could play the role of a kingmaker and help the opposition win this time.