Sırrı Süreye Önder: We connot let right-wing parties to dominate parliament

“Green Left Party should enter parliament with strong group” says Green Left Party Deputy candidate in Istanbul Sırrı Süreyya Önder who spoke to ANF about the presidential and parliamentary elections on 14 May.

Sırrı Süreye Önder was an Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) parliamentarian between 2012-2015 and then 2015-2018. The Green Left Party is a member party of the HDP that was founded in November 2012. Due to the ongoing ban proceedings and the risks of overcoming them, the HDP has decided to participate in the elections through the Green Left Party.

“They do not have any expectations other than democratization and freedom. They have not demanded a position in government, and they did so in a transparent manner. They have a strategic attitude concerning the elections.”

‘Green Left Party should enter parliament with strong group’

Önder said: “The powers of the presidential system and the way they are used are clear. But one point is missed: if any party, or rather the party of the new president or the alliance, cannot gain a significant dominance in the parliament, there will be two options before the parliament: Either a deadlock emerges, or a compromise is sought. I have explained it with the key-lock metaphor: we will act as a key to solve deadlocks, and we will not leave Kılıçdaroğlu without options in the face of a coalition consisting mainly of right-wing components. Moreover, if this majority remain reluctant to initiate a democratic transformation, the Green Left Parliamentary Group may stand in front of them as a barrier and lock the parliament. However, we prefer that this leads to the development of a culture of consensus and negotiation.”

‘We saw Newroz crowds in election rallies in Istanbul’

Önder spoke about the importance of Istanbul for the elections. He said: “When we look only at the last 15 years, we won 3 deputies in Istanbul in previous elections, and now we may win 18-20 deputies. All our provincial-district employees, managers and deputies worked very hard. There is always a cliché saying, ‘whoever wins Istanbul wins Turkey.’ This might be true. Statistically speaking, Istanbul means Turkey. Therefore, Istanbul is important.

We saw Newroz crowds at election rallies in Istanbul’s district. Many of our experienced campaigners are either in prison or in exile, but despite this, the people somehow embrace our election campaign. It’s both flattering and encouraging.”

Election safety

Önder commented on the concerns about election safety as follows: “Since we are entering the elections as the Green Left Party, not the HDP, we may not provide  proper election safety. However, the entire opposition established certain mechanisms for election safety. This is an important safety net.

Furthermore, everyone can check the counting of the votes on their own. There is no need to worry about election safety in any way when we check the ballot boxes and voting papers with wet signatures. If necessary, we will beat the referee too! We’re talking about a game like that.”

Önder also addressed the rumours that the AKP-MHP government will not leave the government even if it loses the elections. He said: “These are just rumours disseminated by the government on purpose. We should not pay attention to these.”

Önder remarked on the possibility of a second round in presidential elections and floating votes: “There is a possibility that the presidential election will go to the second round. Some of the polls have already indicated this. What matters most is that the opposition’s presidential candidate should get most of the votes in the first round. This is important. Because if the first round is completed head-to-head, the government will use all state resources to defeat Erdogan’s rival.

Floating voters used to be poor and uneducated people. This election is different. There is great indecision within left-social democratic and intellectual circles: Everyone knows whom to vote in the presidential elections, but when it comes to the parliamentary elections, voters remain torn between the ‘Green Left and the main opposition CHP’.

The Kurdish people did not nominate a presidential candidate so that the opposition candidate could win in the first round. They do not have any expectations other than democratization and freedom. They have not demanded a position in government, and they did so in a transparent manner. They have a strategic attitude concerning the elections. Despite this, when the ballot boxes are opened, the Green Left voters and the Kurdish people may not be willing to go to the polls in the second round if they see that their attitude is overlooked by the left-social democratic circles. If the left-social democrats do not give the necessary support to their demands for democratization and freedoms, they may be reluctant to go to the polls. Those who are undecided should consider this. I think that it is very important that intellectuals and democrats should vote for Kılıçdaroğlu in the presidential elections and the Green Left Party in the parliamentary elections. It is important both to win in the second round and, as I said before, not to allow the right-wing parties to dominate the parliament.”

Source: ANF English

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