Demirtaş says he quits active politics after polls

Selahattin Demirtaş, former co-leader of the People's Democracy Party (HDP), has announced his decision to quit active politics in a move that follows the parliamentary and presidential polls in May.

"On my own behalf, I sincerely apologize for not being able to introduce a political approach worthy of our people," Demirtaş said on Twitter late on May 31. "I quit active politics at this stage," he said, stressing he will continue his struggle from prison.

Demirtaş is behind bars due to his alleged links to the terrorist organization, the PKK, since 2016 without conviction. He had served as the co-leader of the HDP between 2014 and 2018.

In an interview with the Artı Gerçek web site, Demirtaş criticized the current HDP leadership who rejected his demand to run for president in the May 14 polls. "I told the HDP leadership that our contribution can be more if we can take the presidential polls to the second round," he said, adding his nomination would also increase the votes of the HDP which did run in the parliamentary polls under the name of the Green Left Party.

The GLP had 8.8 percent of the votes and gained 61 seats at the parliament.

"I am of the opinion that there is the need of a change in the party's management. As far as I see our people are expecting to see this maturity from the party leadership, particularly the co-leaders," he said.

HDP'S co-leaders are Mithat Sancar and Pervin Buldan.

Demirtaş slammed the party leadership and its organizations at the national and local level for not working enough for the elections. "They were acting like a local association and not like a political party," he said.

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