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Five UBP members resign from north coalition (Updated)

Five ‘government ministers’ coming from the Turkish Cypriot National Unity Party (UBP) handed in their resignations on Monday to ‘prime minister’ Ömer Kalyoncu, putting an end to the coalition in the north.
The UBP has been unhappy with the delay in signing of the financial protocol with Turkey for 2016-2018, which led to a halt in transfer of funds from Turkey to the regime as of January.
Coalition partner Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) will convene Monday evening in order to determine the steps to be taken.
Kalyoncu, who is also expected to resign, according to the Turkish Cypriot press, said he would act in accordance with the decisions to be taken at the CTP-BG meeting.
The justification of the decision of UBP Party Assembly to withdraw from the ‘government’ was declared as “losing the ability and capability of a broad-based government to serve the public”.
It was reported that northern Cyprus could not fully pay the salaries for March and that those with a net salary more than 4,000 Turkish liras (TL), or around €1,400, would receive only 60 per cent of their salary for now.
UBP, according to Havadis, is considering the establishment of a new administration without the CTP-BG with the aim of signing the protocol, carrying out reforms and declaring new elections. Reports suggest the UBP will form an alliance with Serdar Denktash’s Democratic Party- National Forces (DP-UG).
Relations between the UBP and CTP-BG have been tense since February, when the UBP warned it would pull out due to disagreements with CTP-BG over the terms of the deal between the north and Turkey over the management of water from the pipeline.
The UBP last year formed a coalition ‘government’ with the CTP-BG on July 15, 2015, under Kalyoncu. The move came after former ‘prime minister’ Ozkan Yorgancύoglu stepped down on July 4, 2015, after losing a party leadership vote in June.
The CTP-BG currently has 20 seats in the ‘TRNC parliament’, and the UBP has 18.
The DP-UG has five ‘deputies’ and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) has three, while there are four independents.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Sunday the last thing that was needed now in the north was a climate of chaos and crisis. The most important thing was stability in view of the Cyprus negotiations, he said.
“In such a process the last thing which is desired is a crisis, but if in spite of this, if this becomes a crisis, we will face it,” he said but added that he would not allow the political situation in the north to fester indefinitely.
According to reports from the north, the pressure exerted by “bureaucrats from Ankara” to sign the ‘protocol’ with Turkey influenced the UBP’s decision to withdraw because it wants it signed without any change, while the CTP was trying to negotiate provisions such as the changes to the ‘judiciary’, the privatisation of the ‘electricity authority’ KIB-TEK and the granting of ‘citizenship’ to thousands of settlers from Turkey.
DRP leader Denktash had said he would not meet with the UBP until the ‘government’ ended. “After that we are open to any option,” he said.

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