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Opposition parties maintained a strong presence in the legislature as of 2017. Are the people's political choices free from domination by the military, foreign powers, religious hierarchies, economic oligarchies, or any other powerful group that is not democratically accountable?
3 / 4 ( 1) Although Turkey continues to exercise considerable influence over the TRNC, it has little direct control over voters, many of whom have recently supported candidates and parties that display independence from Ankara.
However, women's political participation is limited in practice, particularly in leadership positions, and just four women won seats in the legislature in the last elections. FUNCTIONING OF GOVERNMENT: 7 / 12 (-2) While elected officials generally develop and implement policies and legislation without direct interference from Ankara, the TRNC remains diplomatically and financially dependent on Turkey – which also maintains a military presence – and this dependence affects policymaking.
The government's Religious Affairs Department staffs Sunni mosques with imams. While large numbers of teachers and professors have been fired or jailed for political reasons in Turkey since 2016, no similar purges had occurred in the TRNC as of late 2017.
For elections to the 50-seat Assembly of the Republic, the TRNC employs a proportional representation system with a 5 percent vote threshold for parties to win seats. In the 2013 elections, the CTP led the voting with 21 seats, followed by the UBP with 14, the DP with 12, and the TDP with 3. Do the people have the right to organize in different political parties or other competitive political groupings of their choice, and is the system free of undue obstacles to the rise and fall of these competing parties or groupings?
In November 2017, the governing parties yielded to opposition pressure and agreed to move the next elections, initially scheduled for April 2018, forward to January 2018. 4 / 4 Turkish Cypriots are free to organize in political parties, and several parties compete in practice, with four represented in the legislature as of 2017.
Although there is a law providing for access to information, there has been very little progress in making government records available to the public in practice.
Information is not always kept in an accessible form, and officials reportedly withhold data on sensitive topics such as naturalization of Turkish settlers as TRNC citizens.