Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP), announces his candidacy for the country's first direct presidential election in Ankara June 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
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Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party announced Monday it was fielding Selahattin Demirtas, the party's co-chair, as its candidate for the presidential election in August to challenge Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The August 10 vote is shaping up as a two-horse race between Erdogan and opposition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.Analysts believe the HDP could back Erdogan in any second round run-off scheduled for August 24 against Ihsanoglu, who has been put forward as a joint candidate by the two main opposition parties.Erdogan is Turkey's first leader to engage in talks with Kurdish rebels and give the Kurds limited extra rights including allowing Kurdish-language education in private schools.
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