In Northern Cyprus, legislative elections against a backdrop of economic crisis – All the news of Martinique on the Internet

The voters of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) voted Sunday in early legislative elections, at the end of a campaign dominated by the economic crisis which is hitting this self-proclaimed republic recognized only by Ankara.

The turnout stood at 58.23%, eight points lower than in the last legislative elections in 2018, according to the local electoral commission.

Provisional results are expected no later than Monday.

“People are depressed because the cost of living is too high. I hope those who will be elected will work effectively in parliament for the good of the people,” 72-year-old retired Dervis Dizliklioglu told AFP.

Some 204,000 voters were called to the polls in the northern third of the divided Mediterranean island, occupied by Ankara and under Turkish infusion.

The fall of the Turkish lira, which saw its value melt by 44% against the dollar in 2021, resulted in TRNC in a spectacular surge in prices, inflation having exceeded 46% over one year in December.

The Turkish-Cypriots voted from 08:00 (06:00 GMT) to 18:00 (16:00 GMT) to elect 50 MPs by proportional representation.

– “Yoke of Ankara” –

“The election campaign did not generate as much energy and enthusiasm as in previous elections in Northern Cyprus, with citizens mostly concerned about their health, safety and living conditions,” political scientists Ahmet said. Sözen and Devrim Sahin in a note published by Italian think tank ISPI.

During the 2020 presidential election in the TRNC, narrowly won by the nationalist Ersin Tatar, a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, against the outgoing Mustafa Akinci, a supporter of the reunification of the island in the form of a federal state, Mr. Erdogan had been accused of interference.

For this election, Turkey does not “need to play an active role to change the course of this election”, judge the two political scientists.

According to polls, the National Unity Party (UBP, nationalist right), in favor of a two-state solution, should retain its rank as the leading political force in the Parliament of Northern Cyprus, where it holds 21 seats, ahead of the Turkish Republican (CTP, left), in favor of a settlement with the Greek Cypriots.

– “Nothing will change” –

The debate on the resolution of the Cyprus conflict did not emerge during the campaign, but part of the leftist forces in favor of a federal solution had called for a boycott of the election, the United Cyprus Party (BKP) considering in particular that ” nothing will change” until the Turkish-Cypriot community is “liberated from the yoke of Ankara”.

Since the invasion of northern Cyprus by the Turkish army in 1974 in response to a coup d’etat by Cypriot-Greek nationalists who wanted to attach the Mediterranean island to Greece, the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the EU since 2004, is divided into two. The Cypriot government exercises its authority only over the southern part of the island, inhabited mainly by Greek Cypriots.

The northern part, where mainly Turkish Cypriots and settlers live, was self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983, and its authorities are recognized only by Ankara.

Negotiations on a settlement of the conflict have been stalled since 2017. In April 2021, an attempt to relaunch talks organized by the UN, which controls a buffer zone between the two parts of the island, ended in a failure.

In 2004, a UN plan intended to reunify the island was submitted to a referendum. Approved by almost 65% by the Cypriot-Turkish people, the agreement had been rejected by more than 75% by the Cypriot-Greeks in the South.