Coalition collapses in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus

The coalition government of Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus has resigned after losing its majority in parliament.

Prime Minister Ersan Saner offered the government’s resignation to Ersin Tatar, the president of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on Wednesday, Yenidüzen newspaper reported.

“This coalition is no longer sustainable due to the quorum problems and the difficulties experienced between the government’s partners,” Saner said after his meeting with Tatar. He called for general election as soon as possible, the newspaper said.

The president may call elections if a new government cabinet based on a legislative majority cannot be formed within sixty days, according to Turkish Cypriot law.

The Turkish Cypriot government was formed in December as a three-party coalition. The trio’s largest partner was the nationalist National Unity Party (UBP). The UBP was led by Tatar before he won presidential elections last October.

Tatar and the UBP have strong ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and are in favour of a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem, rather than reunification based on a U.N. and European Union-advocated federal model.

Cyprus has been ethnically divided since Turkey invaded in 1974 in response to a brief Greek Cypriot coup aimed at uniting it with Greece. The internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus controlled the southern two-thirds of the island since, and the TRNC, founded in 1983, the northern third.

Turkey is the only country to formally recognise northern Cyprus as a state.



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