Cyprus Today

Candidates launch election campaigns


THE TRNC has entered election mode, with candidates launching their campaigns for local elections that will take place on Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day.

The elections for mayors, councillor­s and other local officials take place every four years. They should have happened in June this year, but government coalition MPs voted to postpone the elections, initially to November 27, because they needed more time to pass a law reducing the number of municipali­ties from 28 to 18.

However that date was later annulled after the Constituti­onal Court ruled in September that the

law postponing local elections to November was against Article

119 of the Constituti­on, following a complaint lodged by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), with the ball put back in Parliament’s court, which simply voted to hold the elections on December 25.

A subsequent bid by the CTP to have the law merging a number of municipali­ties annulled was rejected, however, by the Constituti­onal Court last month.

The election will now go ahead for 18 mayors rather than 28, with some councils being merged, such as Alsancak with Lapta, Çatalköy with Esentepe, Akıncılar with Değirmenli­k and Gönyeli with Alayköy.

However Tatlısu Municipali­ty has escaped the cull, despite only covering the village of Tatlısu.

With the pre-election “bans” period due to start on Tuesday, candidates have already been throwing their hats into the ring.

They include “independen­t” candidate Nidai Güngördü, the current mayor of Girne, who will be looking for another term in office with the backing of the National Unity Party (UBP), while the CTP has put forward Murat Şenkul as their candidate in Girne.

The UBP is also supporting independen­t candidates Fırat Ataser, the current mayor of Alsancak, to become the new Lapta-Alsancak-Çamlıbel Mayor, and Democrat Party candidate Hayri Orçan to be reelected as the mayor of Tatlısu.

In the capital Lefkoşa, incumbent Mehmet Harmancı, of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has launched his re-election bid. His main rivals will be Sıla Usar İncirli, a CTP MP, and the UBP’s Sadık Gariyanoğl­u.

Gönyeli Mayor Ahmet Benli of the CTP will be looking to become the mayor of the new Gönyeli-Alayköy Municipali­ty, where his main opponent is expected to be the UBP’s Hüseyin Amcaoğlu.

The UBP and the CTP, the TRNC’s biggest political parties, have also announced candidates for all the remaining municipali­ties.

According to a timetable set out by the Supreme Election Council (YSK) individual applicatio­ns to be a candidate in the local elections will be accepted until November 28, although political parties must submit their list of candidates by November 25. Lists of voters will be available to inspect until November 20.

The YSK will announce a provisiona­l list of candidates on November 29, with the official confirmed list of candidates announced on December 4.

It said that in addition to the 18 mayors, 220 councillor­s and 960 “elders” will also be elected in the December 25 ballot.

The election “propaganda period” will run from Monday, December 5, to Saturday, December 24, during which candidates will have the opportunit­y to appear on state broadcaste­r BRT.

According to the election timetable, the last day for the publicatio­n of election polls and surveys is December 10 and the last day to distribute voter cards and campaign leaflets is December 22.

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