Opposition wins Turkish Cyprus elections, Denktaş earns key role

Opposition wins Turkish Cyprus elections, Denktaş earns key role

Opposition wins Turkish Cyprus elections, Denktaş earns key role

The prime minister of the interim government, Sibel Siber, casts her vote in Nicosia. AA Photo

The opposition Turkish Party-United Front (CTP-BG) emerged as the largest party in the Turkish Cypriot elections on July 28 but will need to find a coalition partner on the right to command a majority.

The party, headed by Özkan Yorgancıoğlu, received 38.49 percent of the votes, giving it 21 seats in the 50-seat Parliament, followed by the National Union Party (UBP), which received 27.16 percent and 14 seats.

The list of Democrat Party-Nationalist Powers (DP-UG) led by Serdar Denktaş, son of the late former President Rauf Denktaş, came third with 23.1 percent and took 12 seats and is likely to be key in changing the balance during the coalition negotiations. The center-left Communal Democracy Party (TDP) took 7.41 percent of the vote, giving it three seats. The DP-UG has been the junior partner in coalitions with both major parties in the past but analysts said a grand coalition between the CTP-BG and its nationalist rival was not to be excluded.

"It has clearly emerged that the people do not approve of the former government’s policies. Our people have entrusted us with the task of forming a government. We are going to assess the situation in the coming days," said Yorgancıoğlu. Turnout was 70 percent among the 173,000 registered voters, roughly the same proportion as in 2009.

 President Derviş Eroğlu called for an urgent dialogue between the rival parties. "I think these elections are an opportunity to begin such a dialogue straight after the vote," he told reporters. The early elections were held after the UBP government fell in May. The New Cyprus Party (YKP) and the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP) boycotted the vote.