Ersin Tatar, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), is expected to assign the task of forming a new government to Faiz Sucuoğlu, who served as an interim prime minister during the process leading to early elections.
In the wake of early elections and ahead of the formation of a new government, Sucuoğlu on Monday offered his resignation online, as Tatar last week tested positive for COVID-19.
Tatar told Sucuoğlu that his health will not interfere with efforts to form a new government and that on Tuesday he will give Sucuoğlu, who leads the National Unity Party (UBP), the task of forming the government.
The ruling UBP came in first in the early elections held on Jan. 24, securing 24 seats in the 50-member parliament.
Tatar also wished success to all the deputies sworn into parliament earlier in the day and voiced hope for a stable government that will serve the people of the TRNC.
Sucuoğlu later said they offered the resignation of the UBP-DP coalition government that they formed last November.
Saying that the current government will continue to serve until a new government is formed, Sucuoğlu added: "Our main focus is stability. We also stressed political and economic stability before the election."
According to election officials, the UBP got 39.54% of the vote in last month's election, followed by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) with 32.04%, the Democrat Party (DP) with 7.41%, the Rebirth Party (YDP) with 6.39% and the People's Party (HP) with 6.68%.
With the results, the UBP gets 24 seats in the 50-member parliament, and the CTP 18 seats, the DP and HP three seats apiece, and the YDP two seats.
Cyprus has been mired in a decadeslong dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the United Nations to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation of the island led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted a U.N. plan to end the longstanding dispute.
While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the TRNC insist on a two-state solution reflecting the realities of the island.