Ahead of the runoff in the TRNC’s presidential election on Sunday, between incumbent President Dervis Eroglu and Mustafa Akinci, both candidates press on with their campaigns.
Rumour and speculation abound that Eroglu, who has been taken aback by the amount of support declared for Akinci has resorted to using smear tactics. ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports that former President Irsen Kucuk (UBP) has withdrawn his support because of the “latest developments”.
Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Vatan’ reports that Eroglu stated that “Sunday’s elections will be a referendum for the type of the solution the people want”.
“People must decide whether they want to jump into an adventure or go into the future securely”, he said but also admitted that he may have committed mistakes as a politician. “But at the end of the day, it is all about the state, it is about the future of the Turkish Cypriots”, he said. He went on and added that the Cyprus negotiations have been left half-finished and that the reason he chose to be a candidate was to finalise the negotiations he had started.
President Eroglu said that the low turnout in the elections was a reaction against politics in the TRNC and called on the voters to cast their vote and to think hard about who they will favour.
He also condemned some circles in the National Unity Party (UBP) of not only not supporting his candidacy but even showing support to other candidates.
He went on to claim that Ankara trusts him completely and said that Turkey knows very well what he does at the negotiating table and never criticised him for his actions. On the other hand he had been criticised by some parties on the left.
“I am not in favour of war, I am in favour of peace”, he declared and added that an agreement cannot be reached only in the manner the Greek Cypriot side wants, because this will be the end of the Turkish Cypriots. He also claimed that the terms of agreement that he will negotiate, will be accepted by the TRNC.
On his part, Independent presidential candidate Mustafa Akinci, who has had declarations of support from the unions, the CTP, Sibel Siber, former President Mehmet Ali Talat and many of those who voted for Kudret Ozersay, said that he will follow solution-oriented policies if elected. He reminded everyone of the content of the joint declaration and said that he will continue the negotiation process in the framework of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation.
Akinci was speaking during a meeting he held with the Turkish journalists in Nicosia. During the meeting, Akinci said that according to his understanding, a president should work to improve democracy.
“I will start the change from the top position. An impartial president means standing at an equal distance to everyone. A president should not replace the government but should cooperate with it”, he said. Akinci also touched upon the universal values that he supports and said that he will “of course take the side of democracy and human rights”.
“We promise to solve the Cyprus problem together with everyone regardless of their origin, colour, religion, gender”, he said.
Akinci who appears to be the favourite in Sunday’s runoff, told the Turkish press that he wishes to build fruitful relations with Turkey, based on trust and respect.
He added that, should he win the election, his plan does not include a clash with Ankara.
However, he did call for control of the police and the fire brigade to be handed over from the Turkish Armed Forces to the Turkish Cypriot government.
Cyprus Mail, Kibris Postasi, Vatan