The previous head of HDP's parliamentary bloc, Meral Danis Bestas, was nominated by her party to be the parliament's speaker. She was born in Diyarbakir and represents Adana. Photo: @meraldanisbestas IG
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) nominated Meral Denis Bestas, the previous head of the party's parliament bloc, as its candidate for the speaker of the Turkish parliament on Wednesday.
"In those countries in the world, especially Turkey, where a presidential system is implemented, the parliament plays a more critical role and the opposition plays a critical role in controlling the parliament," read an HDP statement.
Three of HDP MPs nominated Bestas for the position of speaker.
"It is very important for us to monitor the parliament's legislative and executive functions," added the statement, claiming there is an attempt to "devalue" the role of the parliament.
Turkish parliament convened on Saturday and new MPs were sworn in. The parliament is expected to convene on Thursday and vote for a speaker.
The ruling AKP has fielded the former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim for the position of the speaker parliament and each opposition party has fielded candidates for the position.
Yildirim is expected to assume the position since his party and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) collectively won the majority of seats and the MHP has said it will support AKP’s candidate.
New MP in jail
Leyla Guven, a co-chair of Democratic Society Congress (DTK) who was detained on January 22 and officially arrested on January 31, was brought to court for first time on Wednesday.
Guven ran from prison for the parliamentary election on June 24 on the HDP ticket and prevailed. According to Turkish law, winning MPs are granted with parliamentary immunity which could grant her freedom.
She was jailed for “propagating for a terror organization” after comments against the Turkish offensive into the Kurdish city of Afrin in northern Syria.
The judges decided to keep her in jail during Wednesday’s trial. If convicted, she could face more than 46 years of prison.