HDP elects new co-chairs ahead of key votes in 2019
The pro-Kurdish HDP party has elected Pervin Buldan, a Kurd, and Sezai Temelli, a Turk, as new co-chairs of the party on Sunday.
More than 30,000 people took part in the one-day third party congress in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
2018 will be the year of HDP’s contributions to peace’: Temelli
Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli are the nominees for the co-chair positions. They were selected by consensus by a commission in advance of the congress.
Pervin Buldan, 50, a Kurd born in Hakkari province. Her husband, Savas Buldan was accused of being financing the PKK. He was abducted and killed in 1994.
She founded an association for the families of missing persons and is a member of the Saturday Mothers – group that commemorates victims of extrajudicial killings every Saturday. She entered politics in 2007 and is currently a HDP deputy for Istanbul and deputy speaker of the parliament.
“It is a source of honor for me to be given the position of Selahattin Demirtas who never compromised democratic and principled politics,” she told the congress.
She also thanked former co-chair Figen Yuksekdag, as a source of inspiration. “In the name of my party and myself, I thank beloved Yuksekdag for being on front in all conditions with her determination and inspiring us as women,” she said.
Buldan vowed that HDP will not succumb to the pressures being exerted on the party. “HDP did not kneel despite all the pressure, and it will not kneel. Let this be a lesson,” she asserted.
Sezai Temelli, 55, a Turk, is a founding member of HDP. He was elected to represent an Istanbul district in the June 2015, but lost his seat in the November 2015 election. He has served as the party’s vice chairman responsible for economic policy.
“2018 will be the year of HDP’s contributions to peace,” he told the congress, vowing “HDP will give this tyrant government the most important lesson.”
He stressed that the party represents all the peoples of Turkey, saying “All of us – Kurds, Turks, Alevis, Sunnis, Romans, and Christians – will be organized and go into power with our radical understanding of democracy.”
“This is our goal,” he stated.