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Jailed former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has said that the party’s call for a “democracy alliance” has been twisted and it is not an invitation for an election alliance to be formed with other opposition parties.

“Our senior party officials have been constantly calling for a democracy alliance, but this call is persistently being twisted. Therefore there is a need to express this clearly…The HDP’s call for a democracy alliance is not for an election cooperation, but is a joint wisdom call to create a bright future centered around democracy principles,” Demirtaş said.

The former HDP co-chair’s message was shared on June 13 on his social media accounts, which are managed by his lawyers.

Demirtaş also refuted the claims that the HDP forged a “secret alliance” with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) or İYİ (Good) Party in the June 23, 2018 local elections.

“The HDP has not in any way, openly or secretly, forged an alliance with the CHP or İYİ Party in the local elections. It has only, unilaterally, taken the decision to support CHP candidates in some of the critical metropolises for the democracy to improve. In all other election areas, the HDP entered the election race against all parties, including the CHP and İYİ Party, with its own candidates. The HDP is not a part of the Nation Alliance,” he said.

The Nation Alliance was formed in 2018 by the CHP, İYİ Party and Felicity Party (SP) ahead of the local elections.

Demirtaş made the comments after HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan said on June 8 that the party’ door was open to all opposition parties for an “alliance.”

“No one will any longer be able to conduct alliance meetings with the HDP behind closed doors. Our people do not accept this. Our people want a transparent and an open alliance. Our door is open to all opposition parties for this,” she said.

The HDP, “instead of approaching others, will open its doors to other parties and pave the way for a transparent and democratic alliance,” she said.

After her comments were interpreted by some media outlets as the HDP giving a “green light” to election alliance with opposition parties, Buldan released a second statement regarding the issue on June 12.

“With our statements, we say ‘transparent alliance’ and this is interpreted and reflected in a different way by pro-government media outlets. Our call for a transparent alliance is in fact a democracy alliance call within a broad framework,” she said.