Kurdish party threatens Turkey election boycott

By REUTERS
April 19, 2011 17:20

ISTANBUL - Turkey's main Kurdish party threatened to withdraw from June's parliamentary election after 12 independents were barred from standing in a move drawing criticism on Tuesday from across the political spectrum.

The High Election Board ruling stoked political tensions ahead of a June 12 election expected to bring a third successive victory for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party.

The board annulled applications by the candidates, seven of whom were backed by the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), due to convictions which it said prevented them from running.

The BDP-backed candidates have convictions for links to outlawed Kurdish rebels in the mainly Kurdish southeast, scene of a separatist conflict between the state and militants from the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).


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