The National Unity Party (UBP) received the most votes during early ‘parliamentary’ elections held in the north on Sunday, with its leader saying he was ready to form a coalition ‘government’.
Turnout had been expected to be low and reached 57.27 per cent of voters.
The National Unity Party (UBP) got the most votes with 39.54 per cent, followed by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) with 32.04 per cent; the Democratic Party (DP) 7.41 per cent, People’s Party (HP), 6.68 per cent; Rebirth Party (YDP), 6.39 per cent; Communal Democracy Party (TDP), 4.42 per cent; Independence Path Party (BY), 1.96 per cent, and the Communal Liberation Party New Forces (TKP-YG) at 1.54 per cent.
The first five parties will be represented in the new ‘parliament’ with UBP taking 24 out of the 50 seats.
Leader of UPB Faiz Sucuoglu said he will form a new coalition ‘government’ with the economy as first priority following “a very difficult time” due to devaluation of the Turkish pound, the pandemic, economic contraction of 16 per cent, power outages and the election bans.
CTP leader Tufan Erhiurman meanwhile said his party would take over the role of “official opposition”. Erhiurman said Turkish Cypriots want to join the international scene and gain a strong socio-economic structure.
“Certainly if [the new ‘government’] repeats the mistakes of the past, we will follow a tough opposition line,” the CTP leader said.
For his part, Fikri Ataoglou, DP leader, spoke of the high abstention rate and said his party will examine the results of the elections.
Kudret Ozersay leader of HP, said that despite the significant drop in turnout, the two oldest and strongest parties in the Turkish Cypriot community, UPB and CTB, managed to lead voters to the ballot box.
Ozersay added the early ‘parliamentary’ elections were held in conditions of political polarisation which benefited the right and leftist parties but negatively affected his party which tries to follow a centre line.
Commenting on the result of the elections, leader of the YDP, Erhan Arikli, claimed that hours before the vote some “circles” had made attempts to tamper with the results thus under the circumstances the gain in number of seats for his party could be viewed as a success.
After his party failed to get any seats in the new ‘parliament’ leader of TDP Kemal Ozgit said he will hand in his resignation. TDP is one of two parties insisting on the necessity for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.