Basak Demirtas not to run as Istanbul candidate for upcoming Turkish local elections

Basak Demirtas on Wednesday announced she will not run as an Istanbul candidate for the upcoming local Turkish elections.
Basak Demirtas (Photo: Archive)
Basak Demirtas (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Basak Demirtas, the wife of imprisoned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, on Wednesday announced she will withdraw her Istanbul candidacy for the municipal elections scheduled for March 31.

The DEM party is the successor to the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which faced closure by the Turkish Constitutional Court.

The pro-Kurdish DEM (“Time”) in a statement published by Bianet said they discussed all options, and agreed with Demirtas “upon in full harmony and coordination not to run as a candidate.”

Basak Demirtas herself in a statement said she met with the DEM party on Feb. 5, and reached a consensus that she would not be a candidate. “All our people and party members should know that all decisions were taken in full harmony and coordination with our Party," she said.

The party is expected to announce its candidates in Istanbul and other provinces on Friday.

Read More: Pro-Kurdish party to back own candidate for upcoming Turkish elections

On Feb. 4, the party announced it will have its own candidate for the upcoming Turkish local elections in Istanbul.

The decision hurt the chances of the Republican People's Party (CHP) to win Istanbul.

In 2019, the HDP did not field a candidate and backed the CHP, which allowed the CHP to win municipalities of Ankara and Istanbul in 2019 local elections. 

During the last national Turkish elections on May 14, the HDP endorsed CHP presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu instead of running on their own.

However, the CHP still lost the elections to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).