The two largest parties in the north – the ruling National Unity Party (UDP) and the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) – have reached consensus on the proposed date for early elections, it emerged on Friday.
Although no parliamentary decision has formally been made yet, UDP leader Huseyin Ozgurgun consented to a proposal by CTP leader Tufan Erhurman to set the election for January 7.
The so-called legislative elections, which produce the ‘assembly’ and the ‘cabinet’ of the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, had been originally set for April, but the ruling parties were forced to relent amid mounting pressure from the opposition and accusations that the ‘government’ no longer enjoys popular support.
Later on Friday, Serdar Denktash’s Democratic Party, the junior partner in the fragile ‘government’ coalition, announced it is on board with the new date.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the problem with the informal agreement is that a proposed amendment to the electoral law, which is currently under discussion at a sub-committee of the so-called ‘assembly’ must, within 15 days of conclusion of the discussion, be forwarded to a body called the ‘supreme electoral council’, and from there to the ‘assembly’ plenum.
If approved, the CTP must then submit its proposal to conduct the elections on January 7, and these must then be held within 60 days of approval of the proposed date.
The tight deadlines notwithstanding, the elections will most likely be held early next year with the political world in the north already in turmoil.