It has been said that most Turkish Cypriots would prefer that Nicos Anastasiades wins the presidential elections in south Cyprus.
Former President Mehmet Ali Talat recently said that it would help progress in the Cyprus talks if Anastasiades is successful.
The elections in Greek Cyprus will be held on Feb.17. If no candidate gets more than 50% in the first round, there will be a second round held on Feb. 24.
Anastasiades’ approach to the whole issue of the Cyprus problem has been one of moderation, whereas there was discord between the outgoing President Christofias and the Turkish side, says Mehmet Hasgüler, a Turkish Cypriot academic who teaches at the European University of Lefke.
The leading candidate voted in favour of the Annan Plan in 2004, 65% of Turkish Cypriots voted for it and 76% of Greek Cypriots rejected the plan.
“I believe that Anastasiades should win. He is a right-wing oriented leader who has some healthy ideas about future cooperation between Turkey and Greek Cyprus. If Anastasiades is successful, Turkey will have a leader it can talk to in Greek Cyprus. Anastasiades is a figure who will negotiate,” said Sylvia Tiryaki, an expert on the Cyprus issue and the deputy director of the İstanbul-based Global Political Trends Center. She added that:
“I think that there will be a second round if we take into consideration the history of the election process in Greek Cyprus. I am afraid that in case of a victory for Malas or Lillikas, either of them would continue the previous track of Christofias, and then we could not expect any change in Greek Cyprus’ policy towards the Turkish side,”