Turkey’s second largest opposition party HDP’s (People’s Democratic Party) candidate in the June 24 presidental poll will be jailed former co-chair Selahattin Demirtas.
Demirtaş has been held in Edirne Prison since November 2016 and is being tried in a series of other cases, facing decades in jail on charges including “leading a terrorist organization.”
On April 30, prosecutors demanded five-year jail sentences for Demirtaş and HDP Ankara deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder on charges of “making terrorist propaganda.”
Demirtaş was elected as the leader of the HDP in 2014 along with Figen Yüksekdağ, who had to step down from her co-leadership post after she was convicted and her lawmaker status was stripped in March 2017.
Turkey will head to the polls in snap elections on June 24 – the first since a presidential system was adopted through constitutional amendments.
Demirtas who appealed to Kurds and leftists, garnered 9.76 percent of the vote in presidential elections in 2014.