ANKARA: Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) announced 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. But the performance of Demirtas could be important in determining if the ballot goes to a second round two weeks later. “It is time to begin our campaign my friends. Let us pave the way to the presidency,” the 41-year-old Kurd told supporters after he was nominated by his People’s Democratic Party (HDP). “We will carry the torch of the struggle for peace,” he added. Demirtas, a lawyer, was this month elected co-chair of the HDP, which enjoys strong popularity in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast.