Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Ankara-backed Ersin Tatar are set to go to a ‘presidential’ election run-off in breakaway northern Cyprus on Sunday October 18.
This is what the outcome of Sunday’s election indicates considering that out of 99.92% of counted votes Tatar is leading with 32.37% against 29.81% of Akinci.
Polls in the Turkish-held north opened at 8am and closed at 6pm with voter turnout at a record low – at only 54.72 per cent.
There were 198,867 registered voters and 738 polling stations and 11 candidates – seven as independents – ran in for election. The population in the breakaway ‘state’ is 326,000.
Third-placed Tufan Erhurman, which comes from the Republican Turkish Party – the same as Akinci’s – could be the kingmaker in the second round since he got over 20% of the vote.
Cyprus is divided since an invasion in 1974 by Turkey which still maintains troops in the north and is the only country recognising the secessionist ‘state’.