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TC Elections in Foreign Press

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TC Elections in Foreign Press

Postby insan » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:30 am

Nicosia — The pro-reunification governing party of Mehmet Ali Talat won parliamentary elections Sunday in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, a victory seen as a boost for peace efforts on the divided island, but one that will not allow the party to govern alone.

Mr. Talat's Republican Turkish Party got 44 per cent of the vote, while the National Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu, which opposes a UN plan for reunifying the island, had around 32 per cent, the official elections board said.

Those preliminary results mean a seven-seat gain for Mr. Talat's party, which will now hold half the seats in the 50-seat parliament.

Only two other parties received enough votes to be represented in parliament: the Democratic Party of Serdar Denktash, Mr. Talat's current coalition partner, with around 13.5 per cent of the vote; and a pro-reunification party with about 6 per cent.

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Mr. Talat said he would immediately begin work to form a new government and Mr. Denktash expressed interest in continuing the existing coalition.

“May it be for the best,” Mr. Eroglu said, congratulating Mr. Talat and calling the election, in which some 74 per cent of eligible voters participated, “a good example of democracy.”

The victory also was seen as a boost for efforts to bring peace to the Mediterranean island, which has been split into a Greek Cypriot-controlled south and Turkish-occupied north since Turkey invaded in 1974 following an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece. The breakaway state in the north is only recognized by Turkey, which maintains 40,000 troops there.

Cyprus was accepted as an EU member in May 2004, but laws and regulations of the 25-nation bloc do not apply to the north.

Mr. Talat, whose party last year endorsed a United Nations reunification plan that Greek Cypriots rejected, immediately called for a resumption of reunification talks with Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Cypriot leader.

“We extend a hand of friendship to the Greek Cypriots to join us to work for a settlement,” Mr. Talat told reporters.

Washington and the European Union strongly favoured Mr. Talat, who backed the UN plan.

The election also was important for Turkey, which could tout Mr. Talat's victory as evidence that the Cyprus conflict, which has hindered its own EU membership ambitions, is perpetuated by Greek Cypriots who voted down the UN plan in a referendum.


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Postby insan » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:32 am

Dovish Turkish Cypriot PM wins election, urges new peace push



Dovish Turkish Cypriot prime minister Mehmet Ali Talat claimed victory in parliamentary elections in the breakaway north as final results gave his party 44.4 percent of the votes cast in a result that was swiftly welcomed by the European Commission.

Talat, a strong supporter of a UN reunification plan for the divided island that was voted down by the rival Greek Cypriot community last April, said the results were a vindication of his centre-left Republican Turkish Party's reconciliation efforts and called for renewed peace talks on the island.

"This is an important success," Talat told reporters.

His party's showing was a significant advance on the last polls in December 2003 in which it emerged the largest with 35.2 percent of the vote but was forced to form a coalition with the more nationalist Democrat Party of Serdar Denktash, son of veteran hardline leader Rauf Denktash.

But the final results still gave his party just 25 of the 50 seats in parliament, one short of a majority, again forcing it to form a coalition.

"We are on the verge of another coalition," Talat admitted.

But a 5.8 percent showing for another smaller pro-UN plan faction, the Peace and Democracy Party, gave it one MP, offering Talat the possibility of a more dovish coalition partner.

He immediately held out an olive branch to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, whose majority Greek Cypriot community overwhelming rejected the UN reunification blueprint at his urging in a referendum last April, saying the election result showed the Turkish Cypriots' continuing desire for a solution.

"I want to call Greek Cypriot side leadership to take our hand, which we are extending in peace to them and we will continue to put our best effort for reconciliation and a solution to the Cyprus problem," he said.

Talat called on the international community to make good on its promises to reward the Turkish Cypriot yes vote in last year's referendum by easing the economic isolation of the breakaway state declared in 1983 but recognized only by Ankara.

"It is not up to me but up to the international community to help us end the isolation. We will use our pressure more decisevely and more extensively" to achieve that, he said.

The Greek Cypriot no vote meant that a divided island joined the European Union in May last year, denying the Turkish Cypriots the full benefits of membership.

The European Union has since tried to restore direct preferential trade with the Turkish Cypriots but has run into legal obstacles raised by a 1994 court decision and the opposition of the internationally recognised Cyprus government.

The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, swiftly welcomed the outcome of Sunday's vote, saying: "The results indicate a clear desire of the Turkish Cypriot community to continue preparations for their full integration into the EU.

"The results also show that the Turkish Cypriots are committed to the reunification of Cyprus," it added.

Analysts had voiced concern that following the referendum debacle, large numbers of Turkish Cypriots would stay away from the polls in disillusion, but the electoral commission said turnout was around 80 percent.

Early elections were called after Talat's two-party coalition lost its slim parliamentary majority last May, shortly after the UN reunification plan was voted down.

The results were a slap in the face for nationalist former prime minister Dervis Eroglu whose right-wing National Unity Party had been expected to give Talat a close run but secured just 31.7 percent of the vote and 18 seats.

However analysts expressed doubt that the election result would lead to any immediate resumption of the peace process on the island, cautioning that that would have to wait until after presidential elections in April, when hardliner Rauf Denktash is to stand down after four decades leading his community.

Denktash's centre-right Democrats won 13.4 percent of the vote and six seats, and the remaining three parties failed to pass the five percent threshhold for parliamentary representation.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops occupied the island's northern third following a Greek Cypriot coup seeking union with Greece.

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/050220/1/3qq06.html
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Postby insan » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:34 am

Pro-EU governing party takes lead in Turkish Cypriot elections

By ALEX EFTY





Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister and leader of the Democratic Party Serdar Denktash, son of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, left, escorted by his wife Muqe votes during a parliamentary election in the Turkish occupied area of Nicosia, Cyprus, Sunday. (AP/Harun Ucar)
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - The pro-EU governing party of Mehmet Ali Talat took a commanding lead in Sunday's parliamentary elections in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, according to early election results, but it was unclear if the showing would be strong enough to let Talat govern alone.

"The results show Turkish Cypriots are for peace and reunification," said Talat to reporters. "We extend a hand of friendship to the Greek Cypriots to join us to work for a settlement."

Talat also called on Cypriot PresidentTassos Papadopoulos to meet him at the negotiating table.

With 89 per cent of the ballot boxes counted, Talat's Republican Turkish Party had around 44 per cent of the vote, while the National Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu, which opposes a UN plan for reunifying the island, had almost 32 per cent, Turkey's NTV television said.

Talat currently rules as part of a coalition government and it was not yet clear if Talat would again have to form a coalition.

Only two other parties were taking enough votes to be represented in parliament: the Democratic Party of Serdar Denktash, Talat's current coalition partner, with around 14 per cent of the vote; and a pro-reunification party with about six per cent, NTV said.

Some 74 per cent of eligible voters participated in Sunday's vote.


The election has international implications, particularly for Turkey and the European Union. Turkey could tout a sizable Talat victory as evidence that the Cyprus conflict, which has hindered its EU membership ambitions, is perpetuated by Greek Cypriots.

Washington and the European Union strongly favour Talat after he backed the UN plan in a referendum last April that was overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots.

In the Turkish-occupied sector of Nicosia, streets were festooned in the bright green flags and For Peace and Unity slogans of Talat's party. Posters with Eroglu's picture were pasted on storefront and apartment walls throughout the area.

On Sunday evening, Talat's supporters drove through the streets honking their horns in celebration of the apparent victory. But others were subdued, wary about previous failed attempts at reunification.

"We have heard these words from the politicians again and again, but nothing changes, " said Ali Terdervis, a Talat supporter in a small crowd in the main square in the Turkish centre of Nicosia. "All we want is real movement for reunification so that we can all become equal European citizens."

Final results were expected late Sunday.

"Today our people will speak," Talat was quoted as saying by Turkey's Anatolia news agency earlier in the day after voting. "The election will strengthen democracy and the Turkish Cypriot people's desire will determine the shape of policies after this, its path, and administration."

Talat's party has 18 seats while Eroglu's party has 20 in the outgoing 50-seat parliament.

Talat's chances were boosted after official talks in Brussels this month with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and this week's visit here by a U.S. trade delegation.

Both gestures, reward for accepting the UN plan, were designed to ease the breakaway state's isolation imposed because of the Turkish occupation.

On Sunday, Talat also said that he would run for president if his party chooses him as candidate in elections this April.

Veteran Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who rejects the UN plan, has said he would not run.

Cyprus has been split into the Greek Cypriot controlled south and the Turkish-occupied north since Turkey invaded in 1974 in the wake of an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece. The breakaway state in the north is only recognized by Turkey, which maintains 40,000 troops there.

Cyprus was accepted as an EU member in May 2004, but EU laws and regulations do not apply to the north.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2005/ ... 44-ap.html
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Postby brother » Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:46 pm

Well elts see if talat can form a strong partnership and goverment that will pave the way for some good politics.
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Postby insan » Mon Feb 21, 2005 8:08 pm

Voters in northern Cyprus hope poll will break deadlock


AFP , NICOSIA
Monday, Feb 21, 2005,Page 6
Voters in breakaway northern Cyprus went to early polls yesterday to try to elect a new Turkish Cypriot government aimed at breaking a political impasse sparked by the failure last year of a UN plan to reunify the island.

The isolated Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has been deadlocked since last May when the ruling pro-settlement coalition lost its slim parliamentary majority, shortly after the UN scheme was rejected in an April 24 referendum, and finally resigned.

Some 148,000 voters will elect 50 parliament members from seven parties in the polls, which are expected to be a close race between the senior ruling party of prime minister Mehmet Ali Talat and the nationalist main opposition.

Opinion polls predict the elections will not bring any one party to power but produce the same fragmented result as the last polls in December 2003, fanning fears of uncertainty in the self-proclaimed state recognized only by Ankara.

"Stamp for democracy," trumpeted the statelet's major newspaper Kibris.

"The decision is yours," said another daily, Halkin Sesi.

But with no hope of a breakthrough on the political scene, the polls have generated little excitement among the electorate with most parties attracting only minimal crowds at rallies.

Opinion polls have tipped Talat's center-left Republican Turkish Party (CTP) to emerge as the largest single party, but not with enough seats to set up a government on its own.

The party, which won the last elections after fiercely advocating the failed UN plan, has argued that a victory would help it push for a revival of peace talks and allow the isolated Turkish Cypriots to integrate with the international community.

His main contender in the race is the nationalist National Unity Party (UBP) of former prime minister Dervis Eroglu, who is a fierce opponent of reunification with the Greek Cypriots on the basis of the failed UN plan.

They have been campaigning heavily against the CTP, accusing it of failing to keep its promises of a settlement and eventual EU membership.

Two other parties -- the Democrat Party and the Peace and Democracy Movement -- are expected to garner enough votes to win parliamentary seats. The remaining three are not likely to overcome the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament.

Political commentators say the result of the vote is unlikely to change the stalemate in efforts to end the island's 30-year-long division. The peace process has been stalled since the majority of Greek Cypriots in southern Cyprus voted in a referendum against the UN reunification plan while the breakaway Turkish Cypriots rallied behind it.

As a result, only the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south of the island joined the EU on May 1.

Observers believe any viable effort to jumpstart peace talks will have to wait until after presidential elections in April when hardline Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is to stand down.
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