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Turkey’s jailed candidate goes on state TV

For the first time in the history of democracy, a jailed presidential candidate has been allowed to campaign from behind bars on state television in Turkey.

Former Co-Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, was given an opportunity to record two clips of 10 minutes each from jail, one of which was then aired on TRT.

All presidential candidates have a right to introduce themselves on television or radio, and tell the people about their agenda and what they will do for the country, if elected.

The televised campaigns of the presidential candidates began broadcasting Sunday.

In November 2016, Demirtas along with 12 HDP lawmakers, were arrested on terror-related charges. Demirtas remains in custody pending trial.

This April, the parliament passed a bill for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.

In the April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters had approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

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