Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Wednesday called for bringing forward the date of the elections in the north to August instead of October as currently scheduled.
During statements on BRT television station, Akinci said that it had been 61 days without any new coronavirus cases in the north and he would propose to parties on Friday to bring forward the election date.
The elections for the new Turkish Cypriot leader were initially to take place last April but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the first round of elections could take place on August 16 and the second one on August 23.
Akinci added that because there was a possibility of a new wave of infections in the autumn it would be better to hold the elections in the summer.
On the issue of the crossing points, Akinci said he did not agree with the ‘government’s’ decision to link the opening of the crossings with allowing arrivals from Turkey, both on July 1.
He said the number of coronavirus cases in the south was zero on Wednesday whereas numbers increase in Turkey.
Pointing out that communication with Turkey was very important, Akinci said public health was the most important thing. He urged the ‘government’ to reassess the decision to open the airports on July 1 if the number of cases in Turkey continues to rise.
He also pointed out that while cases rise in Turkey, a private jet was allowed to arrive in the north bringing in people from Turkey. Akinci said he is waiting for a report into the incident.
He was referring to the arrival in the north last week of a small group of people from Turkey after they were given special permission and did not quarantine.
‘Prime minister’ Ersin Tatar reportedly said there might be a ‘cabinet’ reshuffle after the issue provoked strong reactions in the north, with many talking about a scandal.