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HDP decides to nominate jailed ex-leader Demirtaş for presidency

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The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which convened its party council on Wednesday, decided to field Selahattin Demirtaş, the party’s former co-chairperson who is currently in jail, as the HDP’s presidential candidate in the June 24 presidential election, Turkish media reports have said.

Turkey will hold snap presidential and general elections on June 24, a year and a half earlier than original scheduled.

The ruling Justice and Development’s Party’s presidential candidate is the incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while the İYİ Party has recently named the party’s chairwoman Meral Akşener as its presidential candidate.

The HDP’s candidate Demirtaş was arrested in November 2016 along with several other HDP deputies on terror charges. He is still in pre-trial detention.

Demirtaş ran against Erdoğan in the 2014 presidential election and lost.

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