Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday gave a green light to the possibility of the north replacing their current political system with a ‘presidential’ one and urged the parties to form a “strong government” as soon as possible.
In an interview with Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, Cavusoglu commented on the north’s struggles with forming stable coalitions and added “in the last few days a debate on switching to a presidential system has been raging in the TRNC. This is possible.”
While praising the “democratic maturity” of the north Cavusoglu said “even though there are different electoral districts, as you know, there is preferential voting and you can even vote for different parties or candidates at the same time … this is very complicated.”
Although the National Unity Party gained the most seats (21) in Sunday’s election it failed to win a majority, making the forming of a coalition inevitable. If that fails, early elections could be on the table. Some commentators have said they could be held alongside scheduled municipal elections in June.
Speaking later in the day at a foreign affairs commission in Turkey’s parliament, Cavusoglu said there was pessimism in the north on the possibility of forming a coalition.
“I hope announcements like ‘we will not go into a coalition’ will be left aside and a government will be formed. We can then act together and decide on the approach we are going to take in the Cyprus negotiations. In this regard 2018 will be a crucial year,” Cavusoglu added.
On the parameters of the Cyprus negotiations, the Turkish foreign minister said they had no problem with the ones in Switzerland, but came to the conclusion that the Greek Cypriot side would never agree to a solution along those lines.
“According to my observations the Greek Cypriots don’t want a solution based on bizonality and political equality,” Cavusoglu added, saying the reason for this was because they think they are better than the Turkish Cypriots.
The Cyprus negotiations collapsed at Crans-Montana in July over several issues including the withdrawal of Turkey’s forces from the north of the island.