Kurdish party threatens Turkey election withdrawal

April 19, 2011 11:35

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 annulled the applications by the 12 candidates, seven of whom were backed by the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), due to convictions which prevented them from running.

"We will discuss all the alternatives including not entering the election and withdrawing all the candidates," BDP co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas told state-run Anatolian news agency late on Monday. "This decision will go down in both legal and political history as a disaster," he said.

The BDP was planning to enter all its 61 candidates in the June 12 election as independents as a way of overcoming a 10 percent threshold which parties need to exceed to enter parliament.

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