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Four-way coalition coming up in the north

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci handing Republican Turkish Party leader Tufan Erhurman the mandate to form a government

The Republican Turkish Party (CTP)’s Tufan Erhurman was handed the task of forming a ‘government’ on Tuesday by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and said they would be ready by the beginning of next week the latest.

CTP, Peoples Party (HP), Democratic Party (DP) and Communal Democracy Party (TDP) have already agreed on forming a four-way coalition. Erhurman said they would now officially get to work and prepare a ‘government’ programme.

“A four-way coalition has not been done in this country before. The point we have all agreed on is… to set principles,” Erhurman said.

The CTP leader said they aimed to create an egalitarian and inclusive “unity government”, adding that “the rule of law is one of our most fundamental principles.”

“Our aim is to reach a conclusion by the end of this week, at worst the beginning of the next.”

Under the proposed four-way coalition, Erhurman is set to become prime minister with his party taking four ministries. The HP will have three and DP and TDP will each be allocated two ministries. The coalition will total 27 MPs out of 50 – giving them a slim working majority.

The success and durability of the coalition is far from certain as they come from differing political ideologies and backgrounds. They don’t see eye to eye on a number of issues ranging from the Cyprus problem, privatisations, construction, citizenship and energy policy.

After handing back his mandate to form a ‘government’ to Akinci earlier on Tuesday, ‘prime minister’ Huseyin Ozgurgun, referring to the four-way coalition said “it is difficult to talk of democracy when one reverses the results of the election.”

Ozgurgun’s National Unity Party (UBP) came first in elections taking 21 seats and had tried, without success, to get the DP on board to form a coalition alongside the Rebirth Party, offering generous terms.

Ozgurgun said the results of the election pointed to a ‘government’ headed by the UBP, and added that the four-way coalition is made up of “defeated and weakened parties”.

After giving his green light to the four-way coalition on Monday, kingmaker and DP leader Serdar Denktash said the ‘government’ would primarily be dealing with internal matters and it wouldn’t, as a whole, take a stance on the Cyprus problem. He added the parties would continue to air their views on the subject individually.

The new ‘government’ will have the pressing task of passing a budget for 2018 and negotiating a new economic protocol with Turkey.

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