South’s Politicians Worried About TRNC’s Nationalist Win

Voting results in the TRNC general elections have concerned Greek Cypriot politicians regarding the possibility of re-uniting Cyprus.

Nationalist and centre-right parties garnered most of the votes and seats in the TRNC general election on Sunday 7 January.

On Monday, unofficial results showed that the nationalist and centre-right parties won 35 seats in the 50 seats in the TRNC Assembly.

Despite their sweeping victory, a centre-right government will only have a small majority after Kudret Ozersay, a former negotiator on behalf of Turkish Cypriots and now head of the new People’s Party (HP), with 9 seats, said he will not take part in any coalition administration with the UBP.

This will leave a shakey coalition with the National Unity, Democratic and Rebirth parties with 26 votes, who are not likely to stay in power for long.

Greek Cypriot politicians, who are currently involved in a presidential electoral campaign for polling day on 28 January, see the TRNC election results as a Turkish Cypriots distancing themselved from negotiations to reunite Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriots have lived in isolation for over 40 years, after Turkish troops occupied the northern part of Cyprus in 1974, in reaction to a coup organised by the rulers of Greece at the time.

Analysts said the turn of voters towards parties following a nationalist policy was caused by disappointment after the failure of the latest round of reunification negotiations in July.

It was a possibility to be expected that the disillusionment over the failure of the negotiations would push the majority of Turkish Cypriot voters towards parties favouring a closer association with Turkey or even a separate state,” Nicos Moudouros, an expert on Turkish and Turkish Cypriot affairs told Greek Cypriot state radio.

He argued that this had happened in past elections when Turkish Cypriot voters saw their expectations for an end to partition to come to nothing.

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