Cyprus Mail

Ertugruloglu touts transition to presidential system in north

Tahsin Ertugruloglu

The north’s ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu has touted a shift to a ‘presidential’ system, saying he “believes in [it] until the end”.

The north has had a parliamentary system since its unilateral declaration of independence in 1983, with a ‘prime minister’ and ‘ministers’ who also serve in ‘parliament’.

Ertugruloglu said that a parliamentary system was democratic but said that it is “over in the TRNC”.

He added that a transition to a presidential system “would not be easy”, and that it would require a two thirds majority decision in the north’s ‘parliament’ and a referendum.

“In [a parliamentary] system, it doesn’t matter which government or party comes. Even I, as a minister, do not believe anything will get better … Populism takes first place, policies only come to save the day,” he said.

Should Ertugruloglu’s idea come to the fore, the north’s political system will follow in the footsteps of Turkey, which shifted from a parliamentary to a presidential system following a referendum in 2017.

Cyprus has had a presidential system since the country’s independence in 1960.

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