Cyprus Mail

YDP leadership election postponed

ydp leadership

Ruling coalition party in the north the YDP postponed its leadership election on Friday, just a day before it was set to take place.

In a slightly awkward joint press conference held by the two leadership candidates Erhan Arikli and Talip Atalay, who have been engaged in a war of words since Atalay announced his candidacy at the end of last month, it was announced that the election would now take place on April 28.

Arikli, who is currently the party leader and the north’s ‘transport minister’, spoke first, saying the decision had been taken to ensure that former party members who had left the party but not officially signed away their party membership could not vote.

Atalay retorted that the delay to the election date “will allow Arikli, who has been complaining about not being able to work in the field, to work in the field.”

Friday’s joint press conference is the latest episode in the YDP’s leadership election, which earlier this week saw Arikli accused of “threatening” one of the party’s youth leaders after she endorsed Atalay.

Earlier, he had jumped at an offer put forth by district branch leaders for the party to be run jointly by himself and Atalay under a rotating leadership system, before the offer was withdrawn as it was against internal party rules.

Despite Friday’s joint press conference, Arikli and Atalay have largely been at each other’s throats during the campaign, with Atalay disclosing that he had considered moving against Arikli earlier, before the north’s municipal elections in December 2022, but that he had been told by Arikli that “Turkey wants us to show a united front.

“He kept us aligned with him by saying this, but later we realised that it was not Turkey’s request at all, but rather a request from people within our party to Turkey,” he said, adding that this was a “completely massive deception”.

Arikli had responded with characteristic bombast, referring to Atalay’s theologian roots and previous career as head of the north’s religious affairs directorate, asking “is it appropriate for a man of God to slander me like this?

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