June 21, 2019 / 7:48 AM / a month ago

Jailed militant leader tells Kurdish party to be neutral in Istanbul vote -lawyers

ISTANBUL, June 21 (Reuters) - Lawyers for jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan confirmed on Friday that he had called on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to remain neutral ahead of Sunday’s Istanbul election re-run.

Ocalan’s lawyers issued a statement from Ocalan after state-owned Anadolu agency reported late on Thursday that he had made such a call to the HDP, which has supported the opposition against the ruling AK Party of President Tayyip Erdogan.

“The democratic alliance approach of the HDP should not be made a part of current election discussions. The importance of the democratic alliance is that it...insists on its neutral position in elections,” said Ocalan’s statement, dated June 18.

Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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