Pro-Kurdish HDP alarmed with holding entrusted votes in likely snap elections

Published 15.06.2015 14:54

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is worried about retaining the "custodial votes" it received in the June 7 parliamentary elections due to the possibility of early elections in which it is possible it could lose those votes.

Following the election results that the HDP won 13.12 percent of the vote, HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş emphasized that he is aware that the party received custodial votes in the elections in order to pass the 10 percent election threshold. "Our stance will never put anyone to shame who voted for us for any reason and who thereby trusted and believed us. We will not put those who wanted the HDP to pave the path of democratic politics in Turkey by voting for us to shame either," Demirtaş said in a statement after the election results were announced.

However, debates surrounding the possibility of early elections are still continuing and some academics foresee that in the event of early elections, the HDP could very likely lose its custodial votes for passing the threshold. Speaking to Sabah daily on Monday, political scientist Professor Şenol Durgun from Gazi University said: "There is no guarantee that the 5 percent increase in votes for the HDP will remain."

He also said that snap elections are inevitable in the event of a failure to form a coalition between the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). He added: "If this attitude [in forging a coalition] is not exhibited, I am of the opinion that early elections are necessary. I do not regard the option that excludes the AK Party even as possible."

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the HDP may undergo a restructuring process if it loses custodial votes in snap elections. The party held its Commission of Organization on Monday to evaluate the election results and re-plan communication channels with the electorate.

A survey conducted by IPSOS Research Center following the announcement of the election results showed dome of the HDP electorate's voting behavior. According to those who participated in the survey, 22 percent of those who voted for the HDP in the elections, when asked whether their votes were custodial answered affirmatively. In the same study, 5 percent of those who voted for the HDP said that they decided which party they would vote for just before the polls, and again, 8 percent of HDP voters indicated that in the event of snap elections, they would vote for a different party.

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