TRNC political parties reject South’s EU elections offer

Officials of the TRNC government have reacted unfavourably towards the South’s move to facilitate the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the European parliamentary elections.

Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris Postasi’ reported that a source from the President Eroglu’s office said that even in 1960 both communities elected their own representatives in separate elections and argued that today, they should be doing the same.

The same source said that the action of the South Cyprus government is, “institutionally rejecting the TRNC and dragging the individuals under the roof of the Republic of Cyprus”.

It also added that the Greek Cypriots were trying to wash their hands of responsibility before the EU and that “no one speaks about the issue of being elected”.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ozdil Nami, told ‘Kibris Postasi’ that the TRNC government could not discriminate between its citizens who have South Cyprus identity cards and those who do not. He believed that the decision taken by the South was aimed at “deceiving” some deputies within the EU. Nami noted that the ballot boxes could not be placed in the TRNC because the acquis of the EU is suspended in these territories. He said that placing the ballot boxes in the South would be “totally contrary to democratic principles”, because one of the requirements of democracy is that the ballot boxes should be “brought to the voters’ doorstep”.

Further, Huseyin Ozgurgun, the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) told the newspaper that the Greek Cypriots had been forced to make such an amendment because of what he described as “pressure by the EP” and declared that the people who will represent the Turkish Cypriots at the EP should be citizens of the TRNC and be elected by the citizens of the TRNC.

Finally, Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) said that his party did not want Turkish Cypriots to vote in elections held in the South. He added that during recent contacts in Brussels, EU officials had told them that they wanted two seats in the European parliament to be held by Turkish Cypriots who have been elected by Turkish Cypriots.

He argued that by obliging Turkish Cypriots to vote at polling booths in the South, their participation in the elections in such a manner was “inappropriate” both politically and domestically.

He also said that this would be contrary to the principles of the Cypriot republic laid down in 1960.

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