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Sırrı Süreyya Önder, who has put himself forward as a possible HDP candidate for the Mayor of Istanbul, has weighed in on the much debated topic of electoral alliances. In an article in Özgür Gündem, Önder is reported to have said ‘If there is going to be an electoral alliance it needs to be principled. The alliance needs to have the force to affect political transformation.`
The possibility of an electoral alliance between the HDP and the CHP has been on object of speculation t in the media, particularly after Önder announced his candidacy. However in statements on the subject both of the HDP co-presidents, Sebahat Tuncel and Ertuğrul Kürkçü, have said there is current discussion between the two parties about such an alliance for the municipal elections this coming March.
“What is important for us is not to take power, it is our principals”
Önder said that party would continue to move forward based on its founding objectives and with the hope of broadening its impact. Önder told the assembled media that the party ‘had come this far by showing how elections should not be debated in such terms…the lesson to take from history is that this alliance needs to be principled.” Önder reaffirmed however that right now there is no discussion of such an alliance and that whatever debates over an alliance would take place needed to occur out in the open.
“This cannot be our style”
Önder also pointed out how that current debates about an electoral alliance pointed to the success of the HDP, saying “We need to read the situation this way because a logic of a bargaining approach which says “lets take this and give that” will not do it. This cannot be our style. Only if it would be in the service of the peoples of Turkey or is a transformation of legal structures in the country we could accept it.’ Önder went on to say how the Kurdish movement’s resistance had reached the phase of structural political transformation, saying “the Kurds are at the forefront of this honorable resistance, accompanied by Alevis, leftists and other political actors.” Önder said that such an alliance could not be formed as portrayed in media, and that any potential electoral alliance would have to be based more on principles than electoral bargaining. Finally Önder reiterated that it would not do any good to anyone if the principals of such an alliance were not sufficiently debated, and by principals they intend an alliance that would have the potential of transforming existing political structures.