Talat in quest for absolute majority in northern Cyprus

Mehmet Ali Talat, head of the pro-settlement party that won Sunday’s elections in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, was yesterday seeking ways of gaining control of at least another two assembly seats that would give him an absolute majority. Talat’s center-left Republican Turkish Party (CTP) gained 44.5 percent of the vote, but with 24 out of the assembly’s 50 seats stopped just short of the majority that would allow the CTP to govern on its own. The collapse of a ruling coalition between CTP and the Democrat Party (DP), which is headed by the son of veteran Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Serdar, forced Sunday’s electoral process. Talat is now expected once again to seek an alliance with the DP, which controls six seats. Furthermore, yesterday he appealed against the loss of the 25th assembly seat, which, if restored to the CTP, could open the way to cooperation with the small Peace and Democracy Party (BDH), an old ally, which won one seat. The second-strongest party in Sunday’s elections, the nationalist National Unity Party (UBP), gained 19 seats. «Unfortunately, the positions adopted by the Turkish-Cypriot leaders who won the vote do not support the reunification of Cyprus based on a democratic solution… within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation,» Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides commented yesterday. (Page 2)

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