HDP to hold extraordinary congress
Turkey pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will hold an extraordinary congress on May 20 to fulfill its legal procedures and elect a new co-chair to replace the jailed Figen Yuksekdag, who lost her parliament seat in February and party membership in March after being sentenced to 10 months in jail on terror-related charges, Hurriyet daily reported.

Serpil Kemalbay, who has been serving as acting co-chair since March 12, is thought to be the top candidate to be nominated as the HDP’s new co-chair.

HDP lawmakers Filiz Kerestecioglu and Meral Danis Bestas, as well as Socialist Party of Refoundation (SYKP) co-chair Tulay Hatimogullari are also thought to be among the potential nominees.

According to the party’s internal rules, if one of the co-chairs is unable to perform their duties for any reason, first an acting leader is appointed to act in their place and then within 45 days after the appointment the party must hold an extraordinary congress to choose a new co-leader.

Yuksekdag lost her seat in parliament in February 2017 after being convicted on terrorism charges. The decision came after the Supreme Court of Appeals approved a lower court decision finding her guilty of making “terror propaganda” on Nov. 27, 2013.

Along with Yuksekdag, fellow HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas and eight other deputies are currently under arrest. A message from Demirtas will be read out at the gathering, which will be closed to non-party members as it is being mandatorily convened according to party regulations.

Reporter’s code: 50101

News Code: 15999  |  Date: 2017/05/20  |  Time: 9 : 11

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