Former TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat, has dismissed speculation that he will be running once more in the upcoming Presidential elections in April 2015, ‘World Bulletin’ reports.
Talat on his official Twitter page said “I will not run for presidency as of yesterday. I told the CTP General Secretary that I will stand with our party’s candidate.”
His decision has left many shocked, especially after inside reports from the left-wing Republican Turkish Party (CTP) previously said that they were “%99,99” decided that Mehmet Ali Talat, who served as the country’s second president between 2005-2010, would be declared as the party’s candidate.
Talat, known to be a keen supporter of the bid to establish a bi-zonal federal state on the island of Cyprus with the Greek Cypriots, promoted a ‘Yes’ vote among Turkish Cypriots during the 2004 Annan Plan referendum to reunite the island, but the attempt failed when the vast majority of Greek Cypriots voted against it.
After the failed referendum, Talat remained publicly committed to reunification, but the pro-solutionist side lost momentum due to a lack of progress and broken promises from the European Union about ending the isolation of the TRNC, which is only recognised by Turkey.
Talat was voted out of office after losing an election to former prime minister and rival right-wing UBP candidate Dervis Eroglu in 2010.
CTP’s Speaker of the House Dr Sibel Siber, who served briefly as interim Prime Minister after former Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk’s government collapsed last year, and current Prime Minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu are now considered the likeliest candidates.