Greek-Cypriots are voting today to elect a new parliament. It’s the first poll since a referendum two years ago, in which they rejected a peace plan tabled by the United Nations aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island.
The election is expected to boost the governing coalition of President Tassos Papadopoulos, at the expense of parties in favour of the UN blueprint. He has appealed to the electorate to show its continued opposition, expressing his “utter confidence” in the judgement of the people. Turkey alone recognises and supports a breakaway state militarily and financially in northern Cyprus. Greeks and Turks have lived apart on the island for decades. The issue, which has dominated campaigning, has been a problem for Turkey in its efforts to join the EU. It needs the consent of the Cypriot government to continue its accession negotiations. Peace talks between the two sides also remain stalled.