Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) answered the questions of Artı TV from his prison cell at Edirne F-Type Prison.
Opposition party representatives are now frequently saying that the end of the Erdoğan administration is near. What is your opinion?
The Erdoğan regime has collapsed; it’s finished. They’re on extra time and even so, they’re still causing damage. I believe no power group inside the state apparatus will any longer continue to support him and everyone will try to be non-complicit [in his actions].
What will be the position of the Kurds and the HDP in the post-Erdoğan phase, as the system is re-built?
Our party has already declared that it positions itself outside of existing alliances. The Kurds will not just watch the field from the rows in the stadium, neither in the election process, nor afterward. On the contrary, they will be at the centre as positive elements of politics. Kurds and other social groups must not be allowed to be excluded and ignored as the republic is almost rebuilt like it was 100 years ago. Otherwise, there can be no democratic improvement, and no problem can be solved.
What is your opinion about discussions on changes in the election system; changes regarding the current requirement of a popular majority for a presidential election?
The problem is not the percentage required for the election of the president, but the system itself as a whole. The AKP [Justice and Development Party] brings this issue into discussion in a hurry to find a way to remain in power as it is collapsing. We’re not concerned with how the AKP will stay in power but how we will bury it in the ballot box. We’re supposed to discuss this and make it a reality. The opposition shouldn’t have any agenda about the issue of election percentages.
What is your opinion over comments that the opposition parties in the ‘Nation’s Alliance’ are trying to evade coming side-by-side with the HDP?
Nobody is obliged to come side-by-side with the HDP. The HDP isn’t forcing, blackmailing or begging anyone to do so. Nobody – whoever – ignoring the HDP and rejecting any dialogue with it, can get the HDP’s support. It would be a big mistake not to turn it into an advantage whilst the HDP is wide open to dialogue. But I still believe that common sense will prevail and the whole opposition will grab the opportunity for a strong dialogue and for cooperation in the election process.
Do you have any plans for the leadership of the HDP again?
I certainly never stayed away from politics and I never will. Politics doesn’t mean a post or an authority for me. I’ll be glad to take on any kind of obligation that will be given by my party and the people.
If you were given a chance to write something on a wall, what would it be?
Please don’t write on this wall.