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Cyprus Problem | Towards a Weak Federal State Model

Cyprus ProblemCyprus Problem – Towards a Weak Federal State Model

According to Ozdil Nami, TRNC Minister of Foreign Affairs, the heart of a solution to the Cyprus Problem is the issue of power sharing and governance. It is thought that the most likely solution to the Cyprus Problem will be that of two founding states and an overarching federal government with the task of presenting Cyprus to the international community. However, it is the residual powers this federal government has which is problematic. How can the single sovereignty of the federal government be shared?

Nami believes that unlike the south’s ex-President Christofias, who supported more powers being given to the federal government, President Anastasiades believes the fewer the powers left to the federal government the lower the possibility of dispute between the two sides.

“I am not sure whether ‘loose federation’ is the correct expression here. The issue is for the powers of the federal government to be kept at the minimum possible level and more powers to be left to the founding states as ‘residual powers’. This is perhaps the most distinctive difference between Mr Anastasiades and Mr Christofias. Mr Christofias supported that more powers should be given to the federal government. In the contrary, Mr Anastasiades thinks that the fewer the powers left to the federal government the lower the possibility of dispute between the two sides. This is a view shared by the Turkish side also. Actually, this is a very important issue, because the Cyprus problem’s backbone is the issue of power sharing and governance. One of the most core issues under this chapter is the list of powers to be left to the federal state. It is understood that a convergence, an agreement will be reached more easily between the two sides on this issue. And this creates a light of hope in us that progress will be fast after the joint statement comes up”

Many see the current negotiations as the last chance for a solution. As for a Plan B, this is doubtful and some believe that Turkish Cypriots will continue to gradually abandon the island for a better life elsewhere leaving the north to be absorbed by Turkey. It is doubtful that this will ever be explicitly declared but as the voting power of the remaining electorate swings away from the indigenous population, whoever remains rules. The expectation is that a failure of the talks will lead to a ‘whoever pays the piper calls the tune’ situation. At the moment that is Turkey.

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