This weekend, National Unity Party (UBP) members will get the chance to vote for their new leader, a role vacated last October when Ersin Tatar became President of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus.
Four candidates are standing: Hasan Taçoy and Faiz Sucuoğlu, who were through to the run-off last year before the election was abruptly called off, will contest the right to be the next leader of the UBP along with Zorlu Töre and Prime Minister Ersan Saner.
As head of the largest party in the TRNC Parliament, the new leader of the right-wing UBP will also become the Prime Minister. Their first task will either be to form a new government given the recent collapse of the UBP-DP-YDP coalition government, or to agree to an early General Election, which is what the opposition parties are firmly pressing for.
PM Ersan Saner sex video scandal
Many had expected the Prime Minister to withdraw his candidacy after a compromising video of him was leaked online last week, which allegedly shows him masturbating while watching a scantily clad young woman undress.
Mr Saner has denied any wrongdoing, stating that he is the victim of a “character assassination” and blackmail attempts. He further claimed the video was a “fake” that had been “edited with the maximum use of technology”.
Five people have been arrested in connection with the scandal, who appeared at Mağusa District Court earlier today.
Voting for new UBP leader starts on Saturday
The UBP leadership election will take place as part of the party’s two-day annual congress at the Lefkoşa Atatürk Indoor Sports Arena.
A total of 16,484 members are eligible to cast their vote in the leadership election. Voting will begin at midday on Saturday 30 October and conclude at 7pm the following evening.
Should none of the four candidates receive over 50% of the vote, there will be a run-off the following week involving the two candidates that received the highest number of votes.
Along with voting in a new leader, the UBP congress will also elect a new party chairman, a new executive council, and members of the disciplinary and supervisory boards.
Main image, top, of the four UBP 2021 leadership candidates, clockwise top left: Hasan Taçoy, Zorlu Töre, Faiz Sucuoğlu and Ersan Saner