Important convergences have been achieved in the chapters of governance and power sharing as regards the settlement talks Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said in a letter to ‘House speaker’ Sibel Siber, it was reported on Monday.
The content of the letter – a detailed report of what has been achieved so far in the settlement talks – was leaked on Monday through the media in the north.
Under the title “Historic letter”, the Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis, published the letter, which it said, was Akinci’s response to the concerns Siber had expressed in another letter, as regards the talks.
In his letter, the daily said, Akinci informed Siber that, “serious progress” was achieved in the issues of governance and power sharing. It was agreed, it said, that the federal state’s Council of Ministers would consist of seven Greek Cypriots and four Turkish Cypriots, while there would be numerical equality in the Senate, the High Court, the Public Service Committee and the Council for Citizenship and Migration. In addition, it was agreed that there would be participation of at least one third by each founding state at every level in the federal public service, the daily said.
Akinci, it said, informed Siber that agreement had been also achieved to a great extent on the issue of the properties as regards those properties that are to be returned. This concerns properties used as places of religious worship between 1963 and 1974, the military zones which will be evacuated, properties which have not been allocated, and new forest lands.
No agreement has been reached so far however, as regards the houses which could be returned in the “sentimental bond” category.
As regards elections concerning the executive and legislative power of the founding state, the daily said, they would be held on the basis of “internal citizenship”. Akinci said in his letter that in the 1960 Constitution, the President of the Republic and the Vice President had the right of veto only on issues in the fields of external policy, defence and security, while in the “new structure” the joint approval of the President and the Vice President will be necessary for taking decisions in these three fields.
Moreover, he said, according to the daily, because the Turkish Cypriot side maintains that all decisions of the Council of Ministers should be co-signed by the President and the Vice President before entering into force, the positive view of the Turkish Cypriot Vice President or President will definitely exist in these decisions.
Akinci also said that the cross-voting and the weighted voting will be valid only during the presidential elections at a federal level and added that implementing the weighted voting during the elections of the founding states is out of the question.
He said that the persons who will have the right of “legal residence” will be able to vote only during the local elections – for municipalities and communal councils – and that this political right will not exceed the 20 per cent [of the Turkish Cypriot population].