TRNC votes in favour of amendment to electoral law

The TRNC Assembly has voted unanimously in favour of the elections and referendum (amendment) draft-law, which is expected to improve the voting system in the North.

Kibris Gazetesi reports that when the law is signed by President Mustafa Akinci and published in the TRNC’s official gazette, the whole of North Cyprus will be become a single election zone, which will be a combination of the five zones which have existed until now.

The candidates will be included in a single list and the voters will be able to vote for MPs across all of North Cyprus and not only in the area in which they live.

According to Yeni Duzen the number of deputies will remain the same (50) and they will be distributed according to the population of the existing districts: E.g. Nicosia 16, Famagusta 13, Kyrenia 10, Guzelyurt 6 and Yeni Iskele 5.

A voter who votes for one party will be able to express preference for almost half of the candidates of his/her party in every district. The voter who chooses a combined vote will be able to express preference for nearly half of the candidates of a party or the independent candidates in a district. The voters will be able to choose from among at least 24 and up to 50 candidates.

Kibris Gazetesi reports that to be eligible to become a candidate, that person should have lived permanently in an area for at least two years. If a person has changed his/her permanent residence during the past two years and has not permanently lived in an area for two continuous years, he/she will be able to run in the elections in the area in which she/he had lived the longest period.

Explaining the provisions of the law at the assembly, Turfan Erhurman, deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said all 50 candidates of a party will be on one list, the area from which each candidate will run will be on the list and every vote for any deputy of any party will include the candidates in all districts.

Referring to the same issue, Mustafa Arabacioglu, deputy with the Democratic Party (DP) argued that the law should be made clear to the people and that regionalism will be abolished but the quotas will remain.

Nazim Cavusoglu, deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP) and Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources, noted that the people’s preferences will show the extent of the change brought by the law.

Hakan Dincyurek, independent deputy, said that even those who made the law ask questions on how the voting will take place and how calculations will be made. He added that uncertainties regarding the law should be overcome.

Hasan Tacoy, also an independent deputy, said that some problems might be solved with the single list.

Meanwhile, the People’s Party (HP) issued a written statement arguing that the new law includes undemocratic elements, that the use of the combined vote will become extremely complicated and that it compromises the freedom of choice for the electorate.

Finally, Turkey’s Black Sea settlers’ cultural association has said that the law will create a more complicated and more unjust electoral system and added that they might apply to the constitutional court for its annulment.

Kibris Gazetesi, Yeni Duzen

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