HDP candidates: Bringing all identities together

The 24 June elections offer an opportunity to change the fate of Turkey

The list of candidates proposed by the HDP for the 24 June elections is perhaps the best evidence of the fact that the party is really committed to the drafting of a new Constitution for a new democratic Turkey. 

The new “social contract” proposed by the HDP in its election manifesto will be “based on based on liberal secularism, pluralism, multi-linguism, multi-faith and equal citizenship”.

To do so, the HDP is presenting a team of candidates from very different backgrounds. Because a Democratic Constitution based on those principles, can only be written by people who come from the many different sections of society. 

The list of candidates reflect the different nations present in the country, the different religion beliefs, the multiple identities sharing these territories, the different sensitivities, the many languages. 

Writing a democratic constitution requires skills which have more to do with practice than good wording. And the HDP (like its predecessor before) have made of participation in all phases of decision making and governance its main tool to practice, despite all kinds of repression by the Turkish State, new ways of co-existence, based on mutual respect and where everyone is equal. 

There are many women candidates in the HDP list: women are another pillar of the new era that the party promises to bring if the AKP-MHP fascist alliance is defeated on 24 June. 

Because on 24 June there is a real possibility to get a breath of fresh air, had said Pervin Buldan and Sekai Temelli, the HDP co-chairs, presenting the election manifesto. 

A program drawn up for women, laborers, students, farmers to make a change. The HDP promises to begin a transition process on the evening of 24 June, should the people decide to vote for the democratisation of Turkey. “We have a roadmap to democratisation - says the HDP - containing solutions to the problems experienced during the one-man regime”. 

Of course the Kurdish question is central in the HDP program but because lasting peace in Turkey depends on the solution of the Kurdish question. The HDP insists that in fact the solution of the Kurdish question is connected with the democratisation process in Turkey. Peace, said the manifesto, is not just absence of conflict, death and suffering. It is at the same time it a real work towards coexistence.

And to make sure that peace is lasting is just, the HDP wants to make sure that all sectors of society are represented in its list (and therefore in Parliament). 

Therefore, looking at the names it is easy to spot the various identities which can be found in Turkish territory: Kurd, Armenian, Assyrian, Arab and then Ezidi, Alevi, muslim. 

People from all sections of society, women, students, unions, academics, artists, civil society organisations, journalists and of course citizens, socialists, and politicians who have been jailed because of the work they were carrying out, all have found a place in what HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan had defined “a common house”.

The HDP presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş remains in prison, after the Court ruled on Monday to reject his lawyers application asking for his release. 

A decision clearly political which confirms the fear of the AKP-MHP alliance, which sees its power and consensus quickly being eroded. 

These parliamentary and presidential elections, called by the AKP-MHP hoping to stop the decline they are already experiencing, turned out to be a boomerang for the fascist alliance. If everybody will be able to leave short term and selfish interests on one side and unite around the HDP, then the night of 24 June could really be a bright one.