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Pro-Kurdish Turkish leaders campaign in Europe for June vote

Pro-Kurdish Turkish leaders campaign in Europe for June vote

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PARIS (AP) — A pro-Kurdish Turkish political leader says he's confident that his party can achieve the 10 percent threshold needed to put lawmakers into parliament in Turkey's June 7 election. But he and others are campaigning across Europe to ensure a victory.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, drew thousands of backers Saturday to a Paris rally. Other party leaders went to Austria and Germany.

Demirtas told The Associated Press that "we will reach the 10 percent threshold. There is no risk." He said his party's priority would be a new constitution with "ethnic, religious and gender rights."

Party members previously ran as independents. Running as a party, the HDP is taking a risk as it must meet the threshold, but it would gain a sizeable voice.

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