DEM to organize Turkey's most comprehensive primaries with 100,000 delegates

Pro-Kurdish DEM Party will organize the most comprehensive primary election in the political history of Turkey and determine the candidates for the March 2024 Local Elections with 100,000 delegates on Jan. 13-14.

Ceren Bayar / Gazete Duvar

In the run-up to the Turkey’s Local Elections in March 2024, the Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party will nominate candidates for co-mayors, municipal council members, and provincial council members through a primary election with the participation of 100,000 delegates.

According to party officials who will set up polling stations in 90 constituencies on Jan. 13-14, "the most comprehensive primary election in the political history of Turkey" will be held.

There will be 4,000 candidates competing in the primaries and 5,000 people will be on duty in polling stations. Party staff, lawmakers, counselors, Party Assembly and Central Executive Committee (MYK) members will be at the polling stations as well.

If any candidate defames or manipulates the others during the campaign for the primaries, their candidacy will be cancelled. No candidate shall promise a job or office, or imply that they have the support of any person, family, or party executive. 

Prospective candidates will also be given the opportunity to make propaganda on DEM Party's social media channels. The party allocated five minutes for Male candidates and seven minutes for female candidates on the party's social media accounts.

In a departure from the usual primary elections in which only party members vote, the DEM Party will mobilize nearly 100,000 delegates to the polls. In addition to party members, people from NGOs, professional organizations, former staff and members of the party, and representatives of families who have worked for the party will be delegates. 

The number of delegates will be at least two per cent of the votes the party received in the last election in that province. In the elections where the principle of equal representation will be taken as a basis, delegates will vote for one woman and one man in all nominations.

If no candidate receives 50+1 per cent of the votes in the primaries, a second round election will be held. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes in the second round will be the DEM Party's candidate for co-mayor.

The extensive primaries was born as a result of the DEM Party holding extended public meetings after the May 2023 elections in order to listen to criticism from the party's grassroots about its parliamentary candidates.

(English version by Can Bodrumlu)