Negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side have progressed to a great extent on the four chapters of Governance and Power Sharing, EU Affairs, Economy and Property.
It is admitted by both sides that the chapter of Governance and Power Sharing is almost closed. One of the final areas of disagreement remains the mode of election and form of Presidency.
The Cypriot Puzzle sheds light on this difference.
Explained below are the suggestions for Presidency of the federal state as put forth by each side on the negotiating table.
Where does the difference lie?
The difference among the two communities lies in their understanding and interpretation of the concept of political equality, outlined in the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration.
Clause 3 of the Joint Declaration states that:
“The Settlement will be based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the High Level Agreements.”
On the one hand, the Turkish Cypriot side believes that the issue of rotating presidency emanates from the premise of political equality. Respect to that premise hence necessitates guaranteeing rotating presidency in a federal Cyprus, in the Turkish Cypriot view.
On the other hand, the Greek Cypriot side believes that political equality is anyway guaranteed through the legislative (Senate will have equal number of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots 20:20 ) as well as the arrangements for effective participation in decision making. There is no need hence, to use that principle to determine the Presidency, in the Greek-Cypriot view.
Andreas Mavroyiannis , #rik, 15 September 2016, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOdYmHM-2mw&t=3642s)
Mustafa Akıncı Press Conference, 4 November 2016
Nicos Anastasiades, Press Conference, 4 November 2016
Joint Declaration, 11 February 2014, (http://126.96.36.199/2014/02/11/11-february-2014-joint-declaration-on-cyprus/)