HEDEP starts preparations for local elections

Local elections will take place in Turkey in March. HEDEP has defined criteria for the selection of its candidates. The candidates should be chosen from the grassroots based on the consensus principle.

HEDEP (People's Party for Equality and Democracy) is preparing for local elections in Turkey on 31 March 2024. The preparations are based on the findings from the analysis of the parliamentary elections last May. Instead of the HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party), which was threatened with a ban, the little-known Green Left Party (YSP) run the elections and renamed itself HEDEP at a congress in October. After the elections, the reasons for the inadequate result were self-critically examined in a month-long discussion process in all party committees and especially with the base.

One of the central points of criticism was the method used for the nomination of candidates for the parliamentary elections. The main criticism was that the base was not sufficiently involved in decision-making mechanisms and that the local party associations did not take any initiative of their own and waited for central instructions. Another topic of criticism was the position of women in the party.

The candidates should be chosen from the grassroots

For the local elections, HEDEP has set up provincial-level committees that have been accepting applications for candidacies since Tuesday. The application deadline is 8 December. Local “primaries” will then be held so that candidates can be chosen by the grassroots and not by the party’s central election committee. In addition, women's own electoral committees were formed in order to meet the requirement of gender parity representation. A key criterion of election committees is the impartiality of their members. For this reason, it has been stipulated that close relatives of the committee members are not allowed to run.

The co-mayors and councillors at the provincial, district and municipal levels will be elected next spring. After the applications, the electoral commissions of the provinces hold preliminary discussions with the candidates. The documents of candidates who violate the party criteria will be returned with an explanation. Accepted candidates will receive training on the primary election process and party politics between 10 and 14 December.

Criteria for candidacies

The party criteria for candidates include a clear commitment to the principle of co-leadership, experience in democratic local government and knowledge of the social structure, culture and language of the respective region. Another important criterion is the question of whether the candidates have proposed solutions to the specific problems in their constituency.

Applications from people whose attitudes and behavior contradict the principles of HEDEP will not be accepted. Exclusion criteria include, for example, divisive discourses, personal interest politics, polygamy and crimes committed such as sexual violence, drug trafficking and usury.

Candidates are required to pay a fee, which is calculated according to the respective job and is between 1,000 TL for a candidacy for a seat in the municipal council and 20,000 TL for candidates for the mayor's office of a large city municipality. Women, young people under 25 and people with disabilities are exempt from the fee.