Turkish Cypriots denied in Sunday’s parliamentary elections sufficient majority to any political party to establish a one-party government.
While the majority party of the ruling coalition, the National Unity Party (UBP) came first with 35.44 percent of the vote, junior coalition partner Democrat Party (DP) received a humiliating defeat with only 7.8 percent of the vote. Results showed no political party mustered a sufficient majority to produce a single party government in the 50-seat unicameral Turkish Cypriot Republican Assembly.
The UBP increased its parliamentary strength to 21 seats with 35.44 percent of the vote, up from the 27.33 percent vote and 14 seats of the 2013 elections. The victor of the 2013 elections, the Republican Turks’ Party (CTP) retreated to 12 seats with 21.05 percent of the vote, down from 21 seats and 38.4 percent vote level of 2013.
The newly established People’s Party (HP) came third with 17.05 percent of the vote and produced 12 seats. President Mustafa Akıncı’s Communal Democracy Party (TDP) managed to maintain its three-seat parliamentary presence despite it gave birth to a Communal Liberation Party (TKP) months before the election. Compared to 2013 elections, however, the TDP increased its vote share by almost one percent from 7.8 level to 8.6 percent.
The junior coalition partner, Democrat Party (DP) suffered a humiliating defeat as its vote share depreciated from 23.2 percent level of 2013 elections to 7.87 percent and its parliamentary seats dropped from 12 to three. The surprise of the election was the mainland Turks’ party, the New Birth Party (YDP). The YDP received 6.96 percent of the vote and produced two deputies.
In the new setup of the Turkish Cypriot parliament might produce a two-way or three-way coalition government. The HP and the CTP have already declared their disinterest in establishing a coalition government with the UBP. Most likely Turkey will advise establishment of a two-way strong coalition led by the UBP and participated by either of these two parties. Yet, the UBP might establish a three-way coalition government with the DP and the YDP.
Can there be an early election? Already discussions have started that for cohesive governance an early election might be considered and Turkish Cypriots might go to an early election as early as March or April this year.