The leftist Labor and Freedom Alliance announced on March 22 that it will not field its own candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for May 14. The alliance includes Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Workers’ Party (TİP), Labor Party (EMEP), Social Freedom Party (TÖP), Labor Movement Party (EHP), Socialist Assemblies Federation (SMF).
In a press release held in the capital Ankara, HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan announced the move and said they will focus on building a democratic country.
“The economic and social policies implemented by the AKP government in the last 21 years have created a great destruction in all areas of life. ‘The Presidential Government System’ leaves the people of Turkey breathless. Turkey's most basic need is a real and strong democracy based on the sovereignty of the people. We want a system in which universal rights and freedoms are recognized and constitutionally guaranteed. It is not possible to achieve this goal without a strong local democracy,” Buldan said in the press conference.
Buldan stated they will establish a libertarian order for women as the alliance, and added that “Our alliance will reinforce the Istanbul Convention and will fight with all its might to secure all the gains of women constitutionally. We are determined to reach the days when the democratic sovereignty of the peoples of Turkey is established.”
“We are the real alternative to our people who are being squeezed between the one-man system and restoration. We will fulfill our historical responsibility towards the one-man rule in the elections. We are determined to hold accountable those responsible for the great destruction from this government. For these reasons, we will not field a candidate in the presidential elections,” Buldan said in a move to bolster the main opposition bloc Nation Alliance’s candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu without explicitly mentioning his name.
“We seek a political system in which there is an improvement of the working and living conditions of the people, the provision of justice in public administration, gender equality, respect for nature, a free life for young people, a peaceful foreign policy, an impartial and independent judiciary, emancipated identities, and most importantly, a democratic constitution that includes all these,” she added.
Turkey will hold presidential and general elections on May 14. The Labor and Freedom Alliance is the second biggest opposition bloc after the Nation Alliance.
Ruling coalition People’s Alliance’s candidate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the main opposition bloc Nation Alliance’s candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu are expected to run in the second round of the election if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes.
Aside from them, Homeland Party (MP) chair Muharrem İnce, neo-nationalist Patriotic Party (VP) leader Doğu Perinçek, far-right ATA Alliance candidate Sinan Oğan, Sunni-Islamist New Welfare Party leader Fatih Erbakan, and former Prime Minister and President Turgut Özal's son Ahmet Özal officially applied for candidacy