Turkish Cypriots changed 15 of their 28 ‘mayors’ in local elections on Sunday in a set of results that left some of the parties reeling.
The Republican Turkish Party – United Forces (CTP-BG) increased the number of the ‘municipalities’ it had from eight to 14 but lost Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta, while the National Unity Party (UBP) lost more than half, leaving it with only five.
Turkish Cypriot press said the loss of the three ‘flagship’ towns by the CTP – the party once led by former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat – was the biggest surprise of Sunday’s poll.
Kibris newspaper, under the title ‘People call for change’, quoted Ozkan Yorgancioglu, CTP chairman and ‘prime minister’ of the breakaway state in the north as saying that more than one party, and in some areas more than two parties, had forged alliances so ensure the CTP-BG would lose.
“This is a rehearsal for a run at the presidential elections,” he said, adding that “whatever some circles plan to do”, the ‘presidential’ elections would not end the way they wanted it to.
Turkish Cypriots will elect a new leader in April next year.
Havadis said there was a “climate of mourning” at the CTP’s headquarters because they lost the three big towns.
Afrika said the people had dealt a blow both to ‘parliament’ with the losses sustained by the UBP, and to the CTP. The paper said it was a message to both parties ahead of the ‘presidential’ elections.
Voter turnout was around 65 per cent.