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UBP and Denktash’s DP to form new north coalition

Serdar Denktash

The National Unity Party (UBP) and Serdar Denktash’ Democratic Party (DP) are to sign the coalition protocol to form the new ‘government’ in the north on Friday.

The head of the UBP Huseyin Ozgurgun, whose party had walked out last week from the coalition with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leading to the ‘government’s’ collapse, was given the mandate for a new ‘government’ by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Following a rigorous round of negotiations between all parties in the north, the UBP and the DP agreed to form the new coalition. It was announced that the protocol is to be signed by the leaders of the two parties on Friday. According to Turkish Cypriot media, Ozgurgun said that he is to present the new ‘cabinet’ to Akinci on Saturday.

Denktash, who is expected to be the new ‘minister’ of finance, told Bayrak TV that as soon as Akinci approves the new coalition the two parties will begin discussing the ‘government programme’.

As regards the economic protocol with Turkey, which was the cause of friction between the previous coalition partners, Denktash said that that it will be signed following consultations with Turkey.

The economic protocol for 2016-18, is yet to be signed, due to strong reactions from political parties, including the CTP, and other groups in the north over its terms, which are deemed as Turkey’s attempt to tighten its grip over the north. The delay led to a halt in financial aid to the north as of January, causing difficulty in the payment of salaries of public sector employees. The UBP and the DP appear to be among those who are more prone to sign the agreement.

Denktash said that his party will not have serious problems with the UBP over the economic protocol.

Havadis quoted Denktash as saying that the regime in the north requires 42 million TL (around €11m), to pay April’s salaries.

He added that actions have been already launched in order to cover this shortfall without Turkey’s support.

The new ‘government’ will undertake duties by April 26, Denktash said, thus it would not be possible for the economic protocol to be signed in two days.
He also said that the new ‘government’s’ priorities are to lift the bureaucratic obstacles in the regime, to implement measures to facilitate more investments in the north, and to restore the regime’s ties with Turkey.

But the formation of the new coalition has raised concerns over another controversial issue, that of granting ‘citizenships’ to Turkish nationals.

Yeni Duzen said in an article that should the new coalition ‘government’ satisfies Turkey’s request to grant ‘citizenship’ to those who have received a ‘work permit’ for at least six consecutive years, there is a risk for granting 35,000 new ‘citizenships’.

According to the daily, 8,627 people have received ‘work permit’ for at least six consecutive years, and together with their families, the number of new ‘citizens’ would reach 35,000.

It added that the last three years, the regime granted ‘citizenship’ to 796 people. Since 2004 to date, Yeni Duzen said, 10,203 people received ‘citizenship’ by marriage. It added that the UBP supports the policy of granting ‘citizenship’, and with the support of the DP, the number of new ‘citizens’ may exceed 35,000.

CTP ‘deputy’ Ferdi Sabit Soyer also expressed concerns over granting new ‘citizenships’.



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