Turkey’s Pro-Kurdish Party Hints at Backing Erdogan’s Main Rival

A woman walks past a picture of Turkish opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader and presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Diyarbakir, Turkey, 20 March 2023. Photo: EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA

"We will not nominate a candidate in the presidential elections," the Labour and Freedom Alliance said.

The decision came after Kilicdaroglu, CHP leader and the joint presidential candidate for the Nation Alliance, visited the HDP leadership on Monday.

"Our country and society will wake up on the morning of May 15 with hope. The day when the forces that will bring about democratic change gain the majority in the parliament, and when parliament is seen as the main will for a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, are the longing and demand of all people of conscience," the declaration continued.

Kilicdaroglu currently leads the polls against President Erdogan, and there is an equally close race between Erdogan's People's Alliance and Kilicdaroglu's Nation Alliance in the parliamentary elections.

The left-wing alliance led by the HDP has been long accepted as the likely kingmaker in the highly critical May 14 elections.

The presidential election race will mainly be between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu, but other candidates, such as Muharrem Ince, a former CHP member, Sinan Ogan, the candidate of an ultra-nationalist and anti-refugee alliance, as well as Fatih Erkaban, the leader of the Islamist New Welfare Party, YRP, are also important players in the race.

After the devastating February 6 twin earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people and left millions without homes, Turks will go to the polls to elect a new parliament as well as a new President.

If no candidate secures more than 50 per cent of the...

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