Turkish Cypriot plunges into political crisis as government resigns after coalition collapse
AA photoThe Turkish Cyprus has plunged into a political crisis after the president accepted the prime minister’s resignation following the withdrawal of the government’s coalition partner, amid ongoing peace talks with the Greek Cypriot administration.
The prime minister of the Turkish Cypriot administration, Ömer Kalyoncu, submitted the resignation of his government on April 5 after his ruling coalition collapsed at a time of high hopes for reunifying the Mediterranean island.
Mustafa Akıncı, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), accepted the resignation and urged the swift formation of a new government to support his talks with his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades, on ending the island’s decades-old division.
“It is important to resolve internal problems, but also for the discussions we are having,” Akıncı was quoted as saying by AFP after receiving the resignation of Kalyoncu.
Akıncı and Anastasiades have expressed hope they can reach a deal this year after 11 months of promising U.N.-backed talks.
The government of Turkish Cyprus collapsed after ministers from the right-wing National Unity Party (UBP) withdrew in a dispute over economic policy.
UBP Chairman Hüseyin Özgürgün said April 2 that the party decided unanimously to withdraw from the government due to its inability to address the country’s economic problems and a recent move to pay civil servants’ salaries in installments.
The UBP last year formed a coalition government with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) on July 15, 2015, under Kalyoncu. The move came after former Prime Minister Özkan Yorgancıoğlu stepped down on July 4, 2015, after losing a party leadership vote in June.
Akıncı asked Kalyoncu to continue his prime ministerial post until a new government is formed, which Kalyoncu accepted.
After accepting the government’s resignation, Akıncı held separate meetings with the heads of the political parties that are represented in the parliament.
Akıncı first met with CTP-BG head Mehmet Ali Talat, which was followed by Özgürgün, Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) head Serdar Denktaş and Communal Democracy Party (TDP) head Cemal Özyiğit.
In July 2015, the UBP formed a coalition government with the CTP-BG. That party currently has 20 seats in the Turkish Cypriot parliament, and the UBP has 18.
The DP-UG has five deputies, the TDP has three and there are four independent deputies.