Nergis Demirkaya – Duvar

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) renewed 80 percent of its party assembly in its fourth congress, leaving a number of politicians out over its two-term rule.

During the congress in the capital Ankara on Feb. 23, a total of 25 people, who served the party for two terms, were not included in the party assembly, while 55 of those who served for one term were left out.

The party refrained from bending the two-term rule, resulting in former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 on charges related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), to not be included in the assembly.

Another former co-chair, Serpil Kemalbay, was also not included.

The 80 percent change in the list stemmed from the two-term rule, as well as the fact that plenty of HDP party assembly members were handed sentences in the past.

HDP members and deputies are often accused of being members of the PKK – a group designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara, Washington and the European Union – and hundreds of party officials are either jailed or tried.

The new party assembly includes 12 deputies from parliament, including Alican Önlü, Ayşe Acar Başaran, Dirayet Taşdemir, Ebru Günay, Feleknas Uca, Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Garo Paylan, Meral Danış Beştaş, Murat Sarısaç, Musa Piroğlu, Tülay Hatimoğulları and Tayip Temel.

Those who will serve for the second term include Önlü, Aylin Hacaloğlu, Başaran, Barış Karabıyık, Bedriye Yorgun, Berna Çelik, Betül Ünsal, Celalettin Can, Cevdet Konak, Taşdemir, Paylan, Hüseyin Taka, İlknur Birol, İzzet Karadağ, Leman Kiraz, Nazmi Gür, Ömer Önen, Selahattin Aslan, Sevtap Akdağ Karahalı and Zelal Yerlikaya.

Experienced politicians from People’s Labor Party (HEP), People’s Democracy Party (HADEP), Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) and Democratic Society Party (DTP), including Tuncer Bakırhan and Doğan Erbaş, were also named in the party assembly.

Necla Kurul, Önder Algedik, Tahsin Yeşildere and Veli Saçılık were also included in the assembly.

At least 50 percent change is expected in the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK), which consists of 25 people, since half of the current MYK members were not included in the new party assembly.

Due to the fact that HDP spokesperson Günay Kubilay was not included in the party assembly over the two-term rule, the party will pick a new name for the rule.

A new name will also be selected for the role of deputy parliament speaker, since Mithat Sancar was elected the party’s co-chair. HDP Diyarbakır lawmaker Hişyar Özsoy will likely be Sancar’s successor.

Meanwhile, 11 people in charge of the sound system during the congress were detained.

Those detained were working for a company that the HDP hired for the congress.