Demirtaş says he would win presidential elections from jail if declared joint candidate

Jailed former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said that if the opposition were to declare him a joint candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, he would receive more votes than President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Duvar English

Imprisoned former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said that he would win the upcoming presidential elections from the jail if the opposition were to field him as a joint candidate to run against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“If I were to be the joint candidate of the opposition, I would win the elections even from the jail. Some people outside, on the other hand, believe that this imposter and cheater rulership will be able to win the elections,” Demirtaş said in a message on his social media, shared by his lawyers.

“Trust the public; turn your faces to the poor. Do not be scared of standing next to each other and fill in the rally squares. Do not worry; we are here. We will win together; we will win for sure,” Demirtaş also said.

Although elections are scheduled to be held in June 2023, opposition parties have been calling on the government to hold early elections, citing the current economic crisis. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led government, on the other hand, has been insisting that the elections be held as scheduled. 

While the opposition has not yet named anyone as a potential candidate to run against Erdoğan, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu signaled his candidacy earlier this month. 

"I'd be honored if the alliance approves of this. This issue has never been discussed. It's not right to make an individual decision," Kılıçdaroğlu said on Dec. 14.

Meanwhile, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has been voicing her candidacy for the prime ministerial elections after Turkey switches back to a parliamentary system from the current executive presidential one.