The Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP) has announced that they are putting forward two candidates for the May 2014 European Parliament elections.
KSP representatives Osman Zorba and Mehmet Birinci announced their candidacy at a press conference. They said that they are running for the EP elections to represent all Cypriots and to represent in particular, the interests of the working class, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.
At the press conference, KSP’s Secretary General Mehmet Birinci said they had decided to enter the elections with only two candidates because of the cost of entering which is 1000 euros per candidate. “If the amount was not 1000 Euros we would join with six candidates. This pricing policy violates the equality principle by not giving equal opportunity to low-incomers,” Birinci said.
Birinci declared that there was a “pseudo democracy” in the North, explaining the reason for not joining the local elections in North which are scheduled to take place in June.
“The best way to communicate our messages to our audience is [via] the EP elections,” he added.
To date, the only other EP candidates are English teacher Erkin Salih who is entering as an independent and Sener Levent, Chief Editor of ‘Afrika’ daily newspaper.
Erkin Salih, a 47-year-old teacher said he disagreed with the vast majority of the Turkish Cypriot political leadership who have rejected the chance to participate in the election, arguing that the 1960 Constitution provides for separate elections in each community. The leadership also argues that Turkish Cypriots should be guaranteed two out of the six seats in the EP.
“The European Parliament elections are not based on ethnicity but proportional representation,” Salih said, adding, “the point I’m trying to make is that the system is not the same as it was in 1960.”
On April 10th, ‘Afrika’s Editor in Chief, Sener Levent announced that he would stand for the EP elections. Levent called on the 80 thousand Turkish Cypriots who hold an identity card for the Republic of Cyprus to vote in the EU elections. Levent says that if the Turkish Cypriots participate in the elections they can easily be represented to the EU Parliament with three seats.
He went on and stated that the Turkish Cypriots show very little interest in the elections and added that if they realized how important the EU Parliament elections are for the Turkish Cypriots, things could be different.