The stage for the 1990 elections took the form of a duel fighting between the ruling party and Rauf Denktaş, on the one side, against a coalition of the other parties and their common candidate, Ismail Bozkurt, on the other side. The National Unity Party – UBP was opposed by four parties, which united under the Democratic Struggle Party – Demokratik Mücadele Parti (DMP). They were the Republican Turkish Party – CTP, the Community Liberation Party – TKP, the Renaissance party – YDP of settlers, and the People’s Progress Party – Atılımcı Halk Partisi – AHP. The People’s Progress Party (AHP) emerged from an alliance of the Democratic People’s Party (DHP) and the Community Progress Party (TAP), in 1985.

The National Unity Party had followed a course of declining influence from 1976 to 1985, with its latest vote share at 36.8%. Figures were a source of reasonable hopes for the coalition parties to emerge victorious. Of course, we know that party coalitions do not necessarily end up totalling their individual vote share. If they manage to create a momentum, they can exceed the sum of their votes, while, in most cases, they are unable to gather all their voters. In the specific case, the Democratic Struggle Party – DMP was formed by parties with  divergent ideological platforms, but also different grass-root groups.

The Republican Turkish Party – CTP and the Community Liberation Party – TKP had a left and center-left ideology and program, with a Turkish Cypriot main audience. Their influence among settler communities from Turkey was very limited. The Renaissance Party, of settlers, had won 8.8% in 1985, with 48% in non-mixed settler communities and somewhat lower percentages where settlers are a majority or a minority. The key question was whether settlers could follow a coalition in which two left-wing parties were the major partners.

The fourth force, the Popular Progress Party, was a component of two parties with right-wing conservative values, as opposed to the two left-wing parties, which were the strongest members of the coalition.

A new formation, the New Cyprus Party – Yeni Kıbrıs Partisi (YKP), founded by Alpay Durduran in 1989, also took part in the contest.

Despite the apparent numerical superiority of the coalition forces over the ruling party, the Democratic Struggle Party – DMP was limited to 44.5%. The National Unity Party – UBP secured a majority with 54.6% of the vote and 68% of the seats. According to an amendment of the electoral law, the first party in the elections received a bonus of 10 seats, while the remaining 40 were distributed proportionally. With this arrangement, the National Unity Party – UBP increased its seats from 26 to 36. The new party of Durduran, the Yeni Kıbrıs Partisi – YKP was stuck down to 0.8%. An interesting element was the high mobilization of the voters, with the turnout reaching 91.5%, the highest of all elections.

When examining the data of the contest in the various community groups, we observe that the towns Famagusta (10.4%) and Nicosia (9.9%) had the highest abstention rates, while the lowest is found in Turkish Cypriot communities, in the traditional ones ( 6.9%) and those with a population that moved from the south (6.7%).

When looking into the distribution of votes, we observe that the National Unity Party – UBP secured its highest percentages (over 58%) in the town of Nicosia and in Turkish Cypriot communities. It gained an absolute majority in both towns and in all groups of communities, except the ones with a non-mixed settler population. Thanks to the influence of the Renaissance Party – YDP, of settlers, the coalition secured a majority in only this group of communities, which, however, counts for only 5% of the electorate.

The election became the starting point of a political unrest for the next three years. The two left-wing parties of the coalition, the Community Liberation Party (TKP) and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), reacted to the result, claiming that Turkey had intervened in the election process. These interventions affected the result, which the two parties could not accept. They withdrew 12 of the 16 coalition MPs, who were affiliated with them, refusing to take their seats in the newly elected body.

The abnormal situation continued until the end of the following year, when elections were called to fill the vacancies (13 October 1991). The two left-wing parties refused to take part in the new contest, and, the National Unity Party (UPP) competed against small parties. It won all 12 seats raising its total to 46 out of 50.