19:19 GMT +313 December 2019
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    A Turkish Cypriot man casts his ballot for the parliamentary election at a polling station in the northern part of Nicosia in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey, on January 7, 2018

    Northern Cyprus' Fractured Parties Mull How to Form a Coalition Government

    © AFP 2019 / Birol BEBEK
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    The political parties of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are now facing the prospect of forming a coalition government in the aftermath of the recent parliamentary election.

    Despite the fact that the right-wing National Unity Party (UBP) won the parliamentary election, it found itself lacking the required amount of seats in the Assembly of the Republic, prompting the need to form a coalition with other contenders.

    The UBP ended up securing 35.6 percent of votes and 21 out of the 50 seats in the parliament, with the social-democratic Republican Turkish Party getting 20.9 percent of votes and 12 seats respectively – an outcome that the Guardian described as "a setback for forces seeking to reunite the island’s feuding ethnic communities."

    The People's Party, whose declared goals are to reform the old political system and who previously ruled out cooperating with UBP, secured 18.1 percent of the votes and 9 seats.

    A political alliance in the legislature requires no less than 26 seats to form a government.

    Hubert Faustmann, professor of history and political science at the University of Nicosia, told the newspaper that "corruption and good governance" were the central theme of the election, adding that "the UBP and Democratic party are synonymous with corrupt and bad government."

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    "They will find it difficult to form a government unless the CTP and HP betray their election pledge," Professor Faustmann remarked.

    Cyprus became divided in 1974 after an attempt to annex the island by Greece prompted a Turkish military deployment to the island’s north. Only Ankara recognizes Northern Cyprus as a sovereign state, while the UN treats it as a territory of the Republic of Cyprus under Turkish occupation.


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