After last month's polls, the prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) urged for a harmonious and stable government, local media reported Tuesday.
"What matters for us is political stability," said TRNC Prime Minster Faiz Sucuoğlu, also chair of the National Unity Party (UBP). "We need a proper government today," he added, after an online meeting with President Ersin Tatar, who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Speaking to the press, Sucuoğlu outlined the process they will follow to form the government. They will first gather a delegation and then visit all political party headquarters for consultations.
"The new government must be harmonious. What we are aiming for is to have a stable government that can complete its normal period of at least five years both in terms of number and compliance," the prime minister explained.
He noted that in a government with 27 deputies, Parliament would have a quorum problem if one or two members test positive for COVID-19.
January's polls were held a year ahead of schedule. Stressing that they would approach all other political parties equally, Sucuoğlu said they had held informal meetings with the parties before taking the post, and now they will officially begin inter-delegation negotiations.
He said that the UBP has 24 deputies, not enough to form a new government in the 50-seat Parliament, so they are aiming to form a coalition government.
Noting that they have 15 days to complete the process, Sucuoğlu emphasized that they will not delay finishing until the end.
Possible scenarios for a coalition include the same formation as the previous government, namely a UPB and Democrat Party (DP) coalition. However, a three-party coalition of the UBP-DP-People's Party (HP) government is also possible. However, in a three-party coalition, the Rebirth Party (YDP) also might be a choice, so the other parties might have to choose between the HP and the YPD.
According to election officials, the UBP received 39.54% of votes in the Jan. 23 election, followed by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) with 32.04%, the DP with 7.41%, the YDP with 6.39% and the HP with 6.68%.
The UBP won 24 seats in the 50-member Parliament, the CTP 18 seats, the DP and HP three seats each and the YDP two seats.
The island of 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 the 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.