Turkish Cypriots go to the polls in an early Parliamentary election

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-28 16:16:08

Turkish Cypriots in the breakaway "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC) went to the polls on Sunday in an early Parliamentary election caused by internal party rivalries.

The breakaway Turkish Cypriot state was set up after Turkish troops occupied the northern part of Cyprus in 1974 in response to a coup by Greek army officers. It is recognized only by Turkey, which bears the cost of its operation.

The election is expected to bring about a change of government, as the left wing Republican Turkish Party is expected to get about 40 percent, pushing the governing right wing National Unity Party to second place.

No single party is expected to get an absolute majority and the new Turkish Cypriot government is expected to be a coalition.

The election was brought forward from 2014, after several National Unity Party deputies voted with the opposition in a June 5 censure vote against prime minister Irsen Kutchuk, following an struggle for the leadership of the National Unity Party.

Turkey's governing party of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sided with Kutchuk, a personal rival of the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Dervis Eroglu, who holds the post of president of TRNC.

The Turkish government is reported to dislike Eroglu, because he is considered to have close relations with the Turkish army and other opponents of Islamists in Turkey.

The result of Sunday's election is not expected to have any serious bearing on the negotiations expected to resume in October for reaching a solution for the reunification of Cyprus.

Decisions on major issues, including the Cyprus problem and the economy are made in Ankara and invariably applied by whoever is in power.

A slack electoral campaign focused mainly on an austerity plan drawn up by the Turkish government, with politicians reminding that Ankara expects it to be applied in full.

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