Pro-Kurdish HDP to lend support to ‘grand coalition’ between AKP, CHP

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has announced that it is ready to back a so-called grand coalition government that would be formed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) on the condition that the coalition embraces their party’s principles, too.

“So far, we haven’t had any official or unofficial meetings for coalition talks. Our door is open to every party,” HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş told reporters on June 18.

“From now on, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu should abandon his rhetoric and style he used before the election. This rhetoric led to the loss of the AK Parti in the election,” Demirtaş said.

“If the AK Parti and the CHP form a coalition in a way that would embrace our principles too, then we would lend support from the outside,” he said.

According to preliminary results of the June 7 election, the AKP received 40.87 percent, the CHP 24.96 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 16.29 percent and the HDP 13.12 percent.

Accordingly, the AKP will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, the CHP will have 132, while the MHP and the HDP will have 80 seats apiece.

Having lost its parliamentary majority, the AKP is expected to engage in coalition negotiations with the other parties.

Demirtaş’s remarks came shortly after Davutoğlu disclosed that he was open to talks with the HDP, even though he frequently accuses the party of being provocative.

“I cannot say that I would not meet a party which got 13 percent of the vote,” Davutoğlu said late June 17, referring to the HDP.

“[But] I need to say that a party that can’t sever its ties with terror and violence will, in time, face a legitimacy problem,” Davutoğlu said, referring to his government’s oft-repeated argument that the HDP is actually under the tutelage of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In Diyarbakır, Demirtaş touched upon the nature of relations between their party and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a supra organization of Kurdish groups that includes the PKK.

“Everybody can state their own opinion; the KCK executives can also state their opinions. They are actors in the resolution process,” Demirtaş said, referring to the AKP-led initiative to end the three-decade conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the militants of the PKK. The process has long been stalled.

“But we are not taking instructions from the KCK. Our party makes its decisions at its own boards. We are not taking instructions from anybody,” Demirtaş said.

Demirtaş’s remarks about the relationship between the HDP and the KCK came only a few days after Duran Kalkan, a senior executive committee member of the KCK, ruled out the engagement of the HDP in any coalition formula.

As long as the constitution and laws are not changed amid any reckoning with “the fascist Sept. 12 system,” the HDP’s engagement in a coalition would turn the party into “a system party,” said Kalkan, who is based at the PKK headquarters in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq.

Demirtaş, meanwhile, said: “The resolution process will not work the way it used to; it cannot move unwieldly and unilaterally as it did before. First of all, there is need for a reinforced cease-fire.”

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

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