Author : Hurriyet Dailynews

Posted : May 4, 2017





Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will hold an extraordinary congress on May 20 to fulfill the party’s legal procedures and elect a new co-chair to replace jailed Figen Yüksekdağ, who lost her seat in parliament after being convicted on terrorism charges.


According to the party constitution, if one of the co-chairs is unable to act due to any reason, first an alternative chair is appointed to act in the chair’s place, and within 45 days after the appointment the party needs to hold an extraordinary congress to choose a new co-leader.


Stripping Yüksekdağ of her seat in parliament is against the constitution and relevant legal precedents, HDP deputy co-chair Meral Danış Beştaş said.


The party made the necessary appeals to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the decision, she told daily Hürriyet.


“We know that we’ll win these cases. It is only because of a legal obligation that we will hold a congress,” she said.


Yüksekdağ lost her seat in the 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 Yüksekdağ, Selahattin Demirtaş, the other co-chair of the party, and 8 other deputies have been under arrest.


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