This article examines recent developments in the Cyprus negotiations and suggests a number of changes to the proposed electoral system. Specifically, cross-voting and other electoral methods that encourage coalition-building across ethnic communities might add significantly to the functionality of the Annan Plan. Combined with other innovative mechanisms already in the plan, cross-voting could force political parties to seriously take into account the interests and concerns of the two Cypriot communities, an element that is currently missing from both the Turkish Cypriot (TC) and Greek Cypriot (GC) political systems. Special conditions on the island, as well as the way most political parties operated in the critical pre-April 2004 referendum period, suggest the need for this amendment. Although this study respects the consociational logic of the Annan Plan, it supplements consociationalism with elements that foster integration and inter-dependence between the two communities and their voters. The article also reviews the postreferendum developments in Cyprus which might have worrisome future implications, not only for its two communities, but also for EU enlargement in general. Cyprus both holds one of the keys to Turkey's entrance into the EU and is a litmus test for the Euro-Atlantic nexus and its capacity to pacify and integrate ethnically divided societies in Europe and elsewhere.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Southeast European Politics Online|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2004|