The outcome of the Greek Cypriot presidential elections will point to whether or not talks to reunite Cyprus will resume. Another factor will be who will govern the TRNC. Currently, the Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun is hoping to form a coalition with the DP, led by Serdar Denktas and the settlers’ party YDP. At the same time talks between the four leftist parties are in progress to create a coalition government, minus Ozgurgun’s party, UBP, despite the fact that UBP won the general election, albeit without enough seats to govern alone.
Political observers think that in the event that the Cyprus negotiations do resume, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci will have more support from the four-party leftist coalition, should it be formed, than he received last year from the conservative pro-Ankara UBP-DP coalition.
A televised debate by five Greek Cypriot presidential hopefuls showed that three of the five candidates said that a new approach must be taken in the Cyprus negotiations by jettisoning the previously agreed fundamentals of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.
Nicolas Papadopoulos said a “different strategy was needed” to undo some of the “dangerous concessions” in recent negotiations. He accused Anastasiades of leading Greek Cypriots to a “bad solution they won’t accept”.
Incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades was criticised for either giving too many concessions to Turkey or not doing enough to make a peace deal possible when the stakes were high last year.
Anastasiades (71), is unlikely to win the 28 January first round outright, and is expected to face a run-off on 4 February against either communist-backed Stavros Malas or Nicolas Papadopoulos, a former president’s son who takes a harder line on the Cyprus talks.
Malas argued that the president had missed an “historic opportunity” to do a deal last year at the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, which collapsed.
“We must agree that we are moving towards partition,” said Malas. He said he was ready to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı as soon as possible if elected.
LGC News, Euractiv