The Turkish Constitutional Court today lifted the blocking of a state grant to the country’s third political force, the pro-Kurdish HDP party, which is accused by the authorities of having links with the PKK.

According to private television network NTV and the state-run Anadolu news agency, 539 million Turkish liras ($28.7 million) in state grants were to be given this year to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

The HDP is playing the role of moderator in crucial presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, and it is highly likely that the opposition alliance will need its support to end Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 20-year rule.

This week the party extended an invitation to the six-party opposition alliance for talks on backing joint candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), against President Erdogan.

At the same time, however, the HDP is threatened with a ban on its operation, less than two months before the elections.

A prosecutor had asked Turkey’s Constitutional Court in January to ban the party, accusing it of being linked “in an organic way” to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group described as “terrorist” by Ankara and Western allies. her.

Rejecting these charges, the HDP will present its defense on April 11 before the Court, it announced today on its website.

The pro-Kurdish party has been the target of a relentless crackdown since 2016, when its leader Selahattin Demirtas was arrested.

Demirtas was sentenced two years later to four and a half years in prison, while many HDP leaders and supporters were also arrested.

The HDP won 12% of the vote in the 2018 parliamentary elections, electing almost 60 of the 579 MPs.