Election time in Turkish Cyprus 

Election time in Turkish Cyprus 

Unfortunately, the much-desired opportunity for a grand coalition was missed once again. A coalition of the National Unity Party (UBP), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the People’s Party (HP), a strong government with 38 seats, both right and left and with a numerical absolute majority could be formed.

All the legal changes needed, including the much talked about constitutional reforms, could not be agreed upon and legislated easily and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) could have captured an opportunity of a fast advancement.It didn’t work out. The UBP’s new chairperson, Faiz Sucuoğlu, decided to form a makeshift, fragmented electoral government.

Fortunately, as far as we can tell, everyone agrees to go to an early election as early as Jan. 9. Will the change of party chair be enough to reassure the public that has been so critical of the UBP lately? Can the election of a new chairperson help the UBP recover its image? We’ll all get the answer together on the evening of Jan. 9. 

If elections can be held on Jan. 9 as desired, the coalition of the UBP-Democratic Party and three independent lawmakers, and will be supported by the New Birth Party from the outside, will serve for two months as a technically “majority government” in the Republican Assembly -- whose number of seats has been reduced to 49 with the election of President Ersin Tatar -- with a total 27 seats. So, will that government, which is expected to be formed within days, be able to make the 2022 budget?

The problem of finding a quorum (at least 26 deputies should be present in the assembly) to convene a parliamentary session, which has already become a serious problem during the four-way coalition period for past many months, will continue in this two-month period. Thus, we can say for sure that at a time when a crucial budget must be legislated, there will be serious difficulties in convening the parliament.Still, at least the UBP elected a new chairperson in the first round of voting with an outstanding majority.

All political parties agreed on an “election as soon as possible.” Thus, today there is a Turkish Cyprus that is going to elections instead of uncertainty, indecisiveness, and confusion of yesterday. It is now perhaps the time to wish that the early elections produce a strong government.

Yusuf Kanlı,