Pro-Kurdish opposition names presidential candidate

The pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party nominated its co-chairman, Selahattin Demirtas, for the Aug. 10 presidential elections.

Pro-Kurdish opposition names presidential candidate

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's opposition pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party has nominated its co-chairman, Selahattin Demirtas, for the country's Aug. 10 presidential elections.

Selahattin Demirtas, 41, was elected to the Turkish parliament in 2007 elections. But he was sentenced to 10 months in prison in 2010 for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

"If voters listen to their conscience, our nominee will rise to Cankaya Presidential Palace," parliamentary caucus member, Gencay Gursoy said, announcing the presidential nominee Monday.

Demirtas said his goal was unity.

"We will struggle for achieving persistent peace in Turkey," he said.

Demirtas added that, in its campaign, the People's Democracy Party would rely on people power, rather than on economic support from the state.

"Although there are no women candidates in this race, women will dominate our campaign," said Demirtas.

Turkish academic and diplomat Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who stepped down in December as secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, has been nominated for president by the two main opposition parties, the Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Movement Party.

The ruling Justice and Development Party has not announced its presidential candidate yet, but it appears likely that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will run.

The vote will mark the first time that Turkey's president has been elected by direct popular vote.

A candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote to be elected in the first round. If none of the three expected candidates receives the required percentage, there will be a second vote on August 24 between the two candidates who receive the most votes.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Haziran 2014, 14:38