Turkish Cypriot voters rejected reforms that would have reduced corruption and abolished the death penalty in a referendum on Sunday.
The proposed amendments to the country’s constitution enshrined children’s rights into law for the first time and stripped down immunity from prosecution for MPs.
But in a surprise result, nearly two-thirds of people voted against the changes in a referendum held on the same day as local elections.
The amendments had been agreed by all four parties in the Turkish Cypriot parliament.
The governing Republican Turkish Party (CTP) suffered losses in Sunday’s parallel local election, with mayoralties in Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta all falling to rival candidates.
Independent candidates supported by the opposition Democrat and National Unity parties were victorious in Kyrenia and Famagusta, while the Communal Democracy Party’s (TDP) Mehmet Harmancı became mayor of the capital Nicosia.
EROĞLU: REFERENDUM WAS HURRIED
Turkish Cypriot president Derviş Eroğlu said voters rejected the constitutional amendments because politicians had hurried their negotiations to ensure a referendum was held at the same time as council elections.
In comments directed at Turkish Cypriot MPs, Mr Eroğlu said: “More comprehensive work is needed on the constitution. You must include the people, all political parties and instutions in this work and produce a draft that can be adopted by everyone.”
62% of Turkish Cypriots voted “no” in the referendum. Turnout was 65%.
PM: PLOT AGAINST OUR PARTY
Meanwhile Özkan Yorgancıoğlu, the Turkish Cypriot prime minister, said the referendum and local election results reflected a plot against his own party, the CTP.
He said they respected the results, but added that opposition parties had plotted against them and had next year’s presidential election in mind.