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Coalition ‘government’ forged in the north

Tatar
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar

The ruling Turkish Cypriot National Unity Party (UBP) has formed a minority ‘government’ coalition in the north, with talks, however, of early elections in October 2021.

The leaders of UBP, the Democrat Party (DP) and the Rebirth Party (YDP) announced they agreed to form a minority ‘government’ after Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar gave the ruling party, for the second time, the mandate to form one.

The three parties, according to media in the north, were due to sign the protocol for the establishment of the UBP-DP-YDP coalition ‘government’ on Tuesday afternoon.

After around a month of consultations between parties, deputy leader of UBP Ersan Saner was given the task on Monday, for the second time, to form a ‘government’ by Tatar. The previous coalition between UBP and the People’s Party (HP) collapsed after the latter walked out in October just before the second round of elections for the new Turkish Cypriot leader.

After Saner failed to form a coalition Tatar gave the task to main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhurman, who also failed to form one. After being given the task on Monday, Saner announced the same day he had struck an agreement with DP and YDP. The latter is mostly supported by settlers.

But before the new ‘government’ is formed head of YDP Erhan Arikli found himself under fire for rushing to announce they would bring electricity to the north through a cable from Turkey. Arikli is expected to be the new ‘economy and energy minister’.

Upon hearing these statements, head of the electricity authority employees union EL-SEN Kubilay Ozkırac accused Arikli of engaging in populism even before officially assuming his post.

According to Ozkirac, Arikli ought to first read the studies prepared by experts on the matter that say such a thing is not possible at the moment, before making public statements.

In the meantime, since the three parties have between them two ‘MPs’ fewer than the 26 needed to form a ‘government’, they said they would go into early elections, in October 2021.

According to a Turkish Cypriot journalist, three MPs resigned from HP on Monday and they are expected to support the new ‘government’. This means the UBP-DP-YDP coalition will be able to receive the vote of confidence it needs in ‘parliament’.

“But still, the committees won’t be able to convene or pass any legislation so they will need early elections,” he told the Cyprus Mail.

Success in forming a coalition came at a time when concerns were raised over funds, with reports saying the absence of a ‘government’ and the money spent each month to place people in quarantine, have left the breakaway regime cash strapped.

Concerns were raised this week over the ability to pay public sector salaries for December and the 13th salary.

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