Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Talat rules himself out of 2015 presidential elections


Mehmet Ali Talat has said he will not be standing in next year’s presidential elections. The former TRNC President, who was in power between 2005 and 2010, was one of the names being considered as a candidate by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), which he had previously led. Talat had stood down from his party when he became President in 2005 and although supported by CTP, he remained independent during the 2010 elections, which he lost to Derviş Eroğlu, the former leader of UBP (National Unity Party).

Talat made his announcement on social media, following months of speculation. It followed a recent announcement by the Turkish Cypriot Trade Union Movement, which said they would not support him even if he was selected by CTP as its candidate. Trade unionists were angered following the release of a tape recording of a meeting when Talat was president in which he stated they needed to find ways to curb trade union powers and influence in North Cyprus.

The TRNC’s second president told Kıbrıs newspaper, “I had to make a decision.” He said he had informed CTP about his position and added, “Following its deliberations, whoever the party selects [as its candidate] I will support them.”

Party chairman Kutlay Erk told the same newspaper that CTP was still reviewing its options and that Talat was still listed as a possible candidate. They were aware of his decision but insisted the party could still select him: “If Mr Talat is selected and in spite of the party’s decision, Mr Talat then said ‘I’m not a candidate’, a new selection process would begin.”

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