Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is to run for a second term in 2020 but has only told his inner circle, according to Greek Cypriot press reports on Monday.
According to Politis, Akinci feels that conditions not only favour an extension of his term as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community “but also dictate it”. It was estimated among his close associates that the climate, and developments favoured his re-election.
“The same information indicates that Mr Akinci appeared more confident since his recent meetings with President Anastasiades and UN envoy Jane Holl Lute,” the paper said.
The advantages in re-electing Akinci, according to the report would be that if the Cyprus talks continue under the UN on the basis of the Guterres framework, Akinci is best appraised of the situation and would best represent his community in negotiations. The fact that he has left himself open to discussing a looser federation in line with a suggestion by Anastasiades, was also an advantage.
The main contender against Akinci would however be Kudret Ozersay, the current Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ who has appeared of late to gain more favour from Ankara, with whom Akinci has had his disagreements of late, especially with regard to Turkey’s growing influence in the north, which is a concern if talks ultimately fail.
Politis said recent events such as the arrest of a politician over a book, the murder of a businessman and Akinci’s call last week for a new census, has prompted many Turkish Cypriots to rally behind him.
Ozersay, on the other hand, is viewed as being more aligned with Ankara and does not favour a federal solution, in addition to issuing strong language towards the Greek Cypriot side on its hydrocarbons programme.