The government of Cyprus approved the postponement for 2.5 years of the local elections, which were to take place in December, raising questions about the developments in the Cyprus problem.
The cabinet approved the extension of the mandate of mayors, community presidents and municipal and community councils elected in 2011.
Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos stated that the extension was necessary, given that the approval of the reform process of the local administration is at a very advanced stage in the House – a reform that will reduce municipalities from 30 to 22 within a horizon of two years.
However, the prevalent view on the island is that the main reason for the postponement of municipal elections are the developments in the Cyprus problem, notably the discussions on the territorial issue. If the talks between Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci end in an agreement, this development would once again open the issue of local government elections. There are hopes for a return of some of the territories currently under occupation.
However, the Financial Times report that the Turkish Cypriot side, instead of Morphou – which is a demand of the Cypriot President – propose the return of Karpasia./IBNA