Dutch Parties Remove Genocide Deniers from Election Candidacy

THE HAGUE–The two largest Dutch political parties Wednesday removed ethnic Turks refusing to recognize the Armenian Genocide from the list of their election candidates. The candidates were Ayhan Tonca and Osman Elmaci of the governing Christian Democrat Party. Tonca is one of the country’s most prominent Muslim politicians and is chairman of an umbrella organization of Islamic groups known as CMO. The third evicted candidate, Erdinc Sacan, represented the opposition Labor Party. According to the Associated Press, Tonca and Elmaci had initially said they will assent to the Christian Democrat Party’s official position acknowledging the killings as genocide, but both later denied that in an interview with a Turkish newspaper. "As a result of an interview in the Turkish paper Sabah, a discussion took place between the party and Mr. Elmaci and Mr. Tonca," the CDA said in a statement. "In this discussion it was determined that there is a structural difference of opinion over recognition of the Armenian Genocide." It said the men will not be candidates and thanked them for their services. Labor’s Sacan had never accepted his party’s position accepting the genocide as a fact, reported the Associated Press.

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