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Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot parties race to form alliances

CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stressed on Wednesday the need for the formation of a ‘government’ that will put above all, the best interests of the people.

Speaking to the press before his departure for Istanbul, where he is to participate in the 19th Eurasian Economic Summit, Akinci expressed hope that until his return on Friday, he would be able to give the mandate to someone to form a ‘government’.

On Tuesday morning Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Ömer Kalyoncu of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), handed in his resignation to Akinci, a day after the coalition collapsed in the wake of resignations by five ‘ministers’ from CTP’s coalition partner, the National Unity Party (UBP).

The split occurred because the UBP has been unhappy with the delay in signing the financial protocol with Turkey for 2016-2018.

Since the collapse, political parties in the north have been holding meetings between themselves in a bid to form allegiances and proceed to a new coalition.

CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat had said his party would reclaim the mandate to form a ‘government as the largest party in the ‘house’ with 20 seats. The UBP has 18, the Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) has five, the Social Democracy Party (TDP) has three, while there are four independents.

Akinci said that there was a serious need for a ‘government’ that will put the benefit of Turkish Cypriots above all, and which “will introduce real reforms and seek a modern and democratic future”.

He added that the procedure for the formation of a new ‘government should begin with the biggest party in ‘parliament’ if the parties do not succeed in forming a majority through their own negotiations.

If not, Akinci said, it would lead to early elections.

According to Star Kibris the UBP and the DP, have agreed to form a ‘government’ and are to make announcements next week.

The Cyprus News Agency quoted the editor-in chief of Havadis, Hussein Ekmekci, who posted on his social media account, that the two parties, UBP and DP, have already carved up the ‘ministries’ between them, while the four independent ‘deputies’ would also join the coalition thus gathering in total 27 seats, one more than the minimum requirement to get a vote of confidence.

The head of the DP Serdar Denktash however, was quoted as saying by Turkish Cypriot media, that his party has not decided with whom to form a coalition yet.

He added that the main point of discussion in the meetings he had with the UBP and the CTP, was the financial protocol and that his party would convene on Thursday to evaluate the situation.

The ‘government’, Denktash said, should resolve the economic protocol issue and improve relations with Turkey. He added that the road to expanding the economy of the breakaway regime was through cooperation with Turkey. The financial protocol could be negotiated, he said.

He also said that new ‘government’ should continue to support the settlement talks.

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