Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Ömer Kalyoncu handed in his resignation to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Tuesday morning a day after the coalition ‘government’ collapsed in the wake of resignations by five ‘ministers’ appointed from the National Unity Party (UBP).
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, which has caused the split with coalition partners Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG).
CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said he plans to have contacts with Turkish Cypriot ‘parliamentary’ parties to form a new ‘government’.
Following a three-hour meeting of the CTP on Monday night, Talat said the party would reclaim the mandate to form a ‘government’ as the largest party in the ‘house’ with 20 seats.
In statements on Tuesday Talat said that UBP’s decision came as a shock to him because he had met UBP leader Huseyin Ozgurgun just days ago and the latter had not mentioned that leaving the ‘government’ was on his agenda. The aim now was to establish a ‘government’ that would help in resolving the Cyprus issue, Talat said.
Akinci was expected to begin consultations to decide which party he would mandate to form a new ‘government’, Talat added. “Until then we will carry out our own processes.” If nothing can be resolved in discussions, it could mean early elections for the Turkish Cypriots.
Reports from the north quoted Akinci expressing the hope it would be possible to form a ‘government’ soon which would have a majority in ‘parliament’, but repeating his statement that a crisis “is the last thing we want.” The process will be further complicated by the fact that Akinci has a number of contacts abroad this month including London.
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 under Kalyoncu. The move came after former ‘prime minister’ Ozkan Yorgancύoglu stepped down in July 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.
Star Kibris reported on Tuesday that the four ‘independents’ would be are playing a key role to the formation of the new ‘government’ with the CTP.
Kibris Postasi said a coalition between UBP and Serdar Denktash’s Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) was very possible and argued that in this case the economic protocol with Turkey would be signed immediately without any questions asked.
Denktash would reportedly demand more than three ‘ministries’ to enter a coalition with any party.
He also reportedly said that none of the parties could claim to have the 26 votes needed for a vote of confidence from ‘parliament’ in a new ‘government’.