The north’s new coalition ‘cabinet’ comprising the National Unity Party (UBP) and Serdar Denktash’s Democratic Party (DP) was presented to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Saturday.
The UBP will now have eight members in the ‘council of ministers’ with party leader Huseyin Ozgurgun designated as ‘prime minister’.
The DP will have three seats with party leader Denktash taking up the role of ‘deputy prime minister’ and ‘finance minister’.
The remaining ‘ministers’ from UBP are those of foreign affairs Tahsin Ertugruloglu, interior Kutlu Evren, agriculture and natural resources Nazim Cavusoglu, health Faiz Sucuoglu, economy and energy Sunat Atun, transport Kemal Durust and labour Hamza Ersan Saner.
DP’s Ozdemir Berova and Frkri Ataoglu are the new education and tourism ‘ministers’ respectively.
The UBP and DP signed the coalition protocol to form a new ‘government’ on Friday.
Ozgurgun denied they would have a negative role in the Cyprus problem pledging that the new ‘cabinet’ would support Akinci.
Nevertheless, asked on their intentions to give settlers ‘citizenship’ Denktash said they were not going to ignore human rights “just so the Greek Cypriots don’t get angry” Politis reported.
The DP leader added the Greek Cypriot side couldn’t expect life in the Turkish Cypriot community to remain still. “We will continue our path the same way they do,” he was quoted as saying.
The new ‘government’ was to be presented to the ‘parliament’ in the afternoon.
Akinci was quoted as saying that he wished the new ‘government’ well and reminded them that the upcoming period was important for the Cyprus negotiations.
UBP leader 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 Akinci.
The economic protocol with Turkey for 2016-18 was the main cause of the rift between the UBP and the CTP, which deemed it an Turkey’s attempt to tighten its grip over the north. The UBP and the DP appear to be among those who are more prone to sign the agreement.