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Eleven hopefuls announce candidacy for ‘presidency’ in north

Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

Eleven hopefuls on Friday officially announced their candidacies for the elections in the north for the new Turkish Cypriot leader.

Among the candidates, four are backed by parties and the rest are running as independent.

The elections will take place on October 11.

Running as independent are current Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, ‘deputy prime minister’ and former head of the People’s Party  Kudret Ozersay, former head of Democratic Party Serdar Denktash, lawyer Alpan Uz who, at 37 is the youngest candidate,  Arif Salih Kirdag, teacher Mustafa Ulash, and doctor Ahmet Boran.

‘Prime minister’ and head of ruling National Unity Party (UBP)  Ersin Tatar, head of main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman, leader of Rebirth Party Erhan Arikli and head of the Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP) Fuat Turkoz Ciner, are also candidates. They are backed by their parties.

According to Turkish Cypriot media the candidates made brief statements about their goals if elected.

Akinci said he remains committed to a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution based on the political equality of the two constituent states and that, if he is elected, he will try to do more than his last five years in office based on a multidimensional policy.

He stressed the importance of staying true to the sought solution and referred to the statements by the UN Secretary-general after the meeting in Berlin with the two leaders last November on an informal meeting between the two communities on the island, the three guarantors – Greece, Turkey, UK – and the UN, when the time is right, in this case, after the elections.

Tatar said if he is the new leader he would strive for the north’s economic development, and its integration with the world and give it the place it deserves in the world. What’s important, he said, is the well-being of the Turkish Cypriots.

Ozersay stated that his goal was to advance the Turkish Cypriots’ struggle for existence, to defend their rights in the best way and to be able to say ‘we are here’ in the region.

Denktash said this election was ‘a test of history for the Turkish Cypriot voter’ based on who they will chose as their next leader.

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