The ruling National Unity Party (UBP) has won the parliamentary elections in internationally unrecognized northern Cyprus, according to preliminary results.
Istanbul – The party of President Ersin Tatar and Prime Minister Faiz Sucuoglu received around 39.5 percent of the votes, as reported by the state broadcaster BRT, citing the election commission YSK on Monday. UBP is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and advocates a two-state solution for the divided island. She now has 24 of the 50 members of parliament – so she just missed an absolute majority.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 after a Greek coup and Turkish military intervention. The northern part of the island is only recognized as a state by Turkey. The Republic of Cyprus, whose government controls the southern part, has been part of the European Union since 2004. The most recent negotiations to end the division failed in 2017.
The second strongest party was the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) with around 32 percent of the votes. She supports the goal of the UN to form a federation of two politically equal federal states. According to YSK, voter turnout was around 58 percent.
In the election campaign, the topic of the economy had dominated. The island is internationally isolated and heavily dependent on Turkey. The lira crisis and rising inflation there are also hitting northern Cypriots hard.
The elections took place a year ahead of schedule. Ex-Prime Minister Ersan Saner from UBP submitted his resignation in October 2021 and called for new elections. Sucuoglu then took over the post of prime minister on an interim basis. (dpa)