Turkey’s leading Kurdish political party is threatening to boycott the country’s parliamentary elections in June because seven candidates backed by the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party have been disqualified from running.
The move has been criticised by politicians from across the board, but the Electoral Commission said the candidates have criminal convictions, mainly related to political activism, which make them ineligible for election.
Ali Emin, the president of the Commission, said: “Our decision is clear and I have no further explanations to give.”
However, Mehmet Ali Şahin, the president of the National Assembly of Turkey, and a member of the ruling AK party said: “I hope that the Electoral Commission will review this decision, if the situation makes it at all legally possible to do so.”
The AK Party, led by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, is widely expected to win a third term in June. Kurds in the southeast of the country might however vote against them. Critics of the decision say that it is an anti-democratic attempt to keep pro-Kurd politicians out of power.
Kurdish party threaten election boycott