Government in Turkish Cypriot enclave offers resignation

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks while holding Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags inside an area fenced off by the Turkish military since 1974, in the abandoned coastal area of Varosha, a suburb of the town of Famagusta in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Harun Ucar

NICOSIA (Reuters) - The coalition government in the breakaway state of northern Cyprus has offered its resignation to the enclave's leader after it lost its majority in parliament, its prime minister said on Wednesday as he called for an early election.

Cyprus's internationally recognised government is run by Greek Cypriots, while the breakaway administration in the north of the Mediterranean island is only recognised by Turkey.

"I observed that the government could not continue further," Prime Minister Ersan Saner told reporters after conveying the resignation to Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, whom he said was assessing the decision.

He said the resignation of the government, formed last year, came after the three-party coalition lost its majority in the enclave's parliament and he said an early election should be held as soon as possible.

Cyprus was split by a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Friction predates that by at least a decade, when a power-sharing administration of Greek and Turkish Cypriots crumbled amid violence three years after independence from Britain.

Tatar, who won a presidential election run-off a year ago, has strong relations with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and, like Ankara, supports the principle of having two separate administrations on the island rather than reunification.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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