HDP not to submit verbal defense to Constitutional Court due to tight election timetable

The HDP notified the Constitutional Court that it will not submit its verbal defense with regards to the closure case due to the tight election timetable. The HDP had previously demanded the postponement of the verbal defense (scheduled for April 11) to a date after the elections, but the party’s demand was rejected.

Duvar English

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has conveyed to the Constitutional Court in a petition that they will not be able to submit their verbal defense due to their election works.

The top court had previously set the verbal defense date as April 11. In response, the HDP had demanded the postponement of the hearing to a date after the May 14 elections. The HDP’s request was denied.  

The HDP said that the top court’s rejection to postpone the party’s defense is an indication of intervention in the fair election process.

"In the face of the Constitutional Court's this stance, which means intervention to independent and fair elections, our party will not give a verbal defense on April 11," the HDP said in a written statement. 

In its petition filed to the Constitutional Court on April 6, the HDP wrote: “It is not within the realms of possibility that the party conducts verbal defense at the determined date due to the official entrance to the election process and intensity created by nomination candidacy application processes, party debut, deputy candidate publicity, election program, rallies, meeting and political works.” 

A state prosecutor filed the closure case against the HDP in March 2021, seeking the party’s ban over alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. The HDP denies such links.

The Constitutional Court accepted the indictment against the HDP in June 2021 after a years-long crackdown under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's rule in which thousands of HDP members have been tried on mainly terrorism-related charges.