Turkish Cypriots set for coalition after PM’s party wins polls
NICOSIA – Anadolu Agency
The National Unity Party (UBP) of Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün came out on top with 36 percent of the vote, ahead of the socialist Republican Turkish Party (CTP) at 21 percent, Turkish Cypriot media reports said, based on an unofficial near complete count.
Projections show that this should give the UBP 21 seats, short of the 26 seats needed for a majority in the 50-member house.
Final results are due early Jan. 9. More than 190,500 people were registered to vote.
“The UBP has emerged has the biggest party by a wide margin,” said Ozgürgün in a victory speech early Jan. 8. “We are preparing for new days with the power the people have given to the UBP.”
The vote comes ahead of presidential polls later this month in Greek Cyprus, with peace efforts on hold until both sets of elections are over.
A coalition with the CTP -- whose vote plunged in these polls -- is unlikely and the UBP may team up with smaller parties like the Democrat Party (DP) and the Rebirth Party (YDP) to muster the seats.
Unlike the socialist CTP, these parties including the UBP are not fans of negotiations with the Greek Cypriots to unify the island, preferring a two state solution.
The People’s Party (HP) -- a new party that has expressed skepticism over negotiations to reunify the island -- polled well on 17 percent and was on course to win nine seats.
President Mustafa Akıncı, whose doveish Communal Democracy Party (TDP) was set to win only three seats, will want broad backing at home as he seeks to push once more for a federal solution to the Cyprus problem and convince his Greek Cypriot counterpart he means business.
The election in the northern third of Cyprus comes six months after efforts to reunify the island collapsed at a United Nations-hosted peace summit in Switzerland over several sticking points including the withdrawal of Turkey’s 45,000 troops.
On Jan. 28, Greek Cyprus is set to hold a presidential election in which conservative incumbent Nicos Anastasiades is the frontrunner.
Anastasiades has campaigned on a pro-peace ticket, vowing to attempt to revive talks with Akıncı, despite the souring of their relationship after two years of tough and ultimately fruitless negotiations.