Turkish Cypriot gov’t falls after withdrawal of coalition partner
NICOSIA – Anadolu AgencyOne of Turkish Cyprus’ coalition parties has withdrawn from the government in a move that could soon trigger new elections.
National Unity Party (UBP) Chairman Hüseyin Özgürgün said the party decided unanimously to withdraw from the government due to its inability to address the country’s economic problems.
Özgürgün added that a recent move to pay civil servants’ salaries in installments is what led his party to withdraw.
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ömer Kalyoncu is expected to resign after the UBP leaves the coalition.
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.
The CTP-BG currently has 20 seats in the Turkish Cypriot parliament, and the UBP has 18.
The Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) has five deputies and the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) has three, while there are four independent deputies.
Turkish Cyprus is in the midst of talks with the Greek Cypriot administration, and hopes have run high that a reunification agreement will be reached this year.
Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, meanwhile, spoke on April 2 with British Minister for Europe David Lidington over the phone about the ongoing United Nations-brokered peace talks.
Lidington reiterated his support for the negotiations process and expressed his appreciation for Akıncı and his team’s positive attitude in the process, according to a statement released by the Turkish Cypriot presidential office.
Lidington noted that British Prime Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has invited Akıncı to Britain and that the visit has been planned for immediately after a referendum scheduled for June 23 when the United Kingdom will decide whether or not it wishes to stay in the European Union.
Britain, together with Turkey and Greece, is one of the guarantor states of Cyprus under a 1960 treaty.