Citizens in Northern Cyprus today elect new Turkish Cypriot leader

Citizens in Northern Cyprus today elect new Turkish Cypriot leader

© Provided by Agencia EFE

Nicosia, Oct 18 (EFE) .- The second round of the presidential elections held today by the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (RTNC) is proceeding calmly and so far with little participation, which is partly due to the special circumstances due to the coronavirus.

At eleven o’clock in the morning (08.00 GMT), around 13% of the nearly 200,000 voters called to cast their vote in one of the 738 polls distributed throughout this territory, not internationally recognized and under the military control of Turkey, had voted since 1974.

In the polling stations, which opened at eight in the morning (05.00 GMT) and will close at six in the afternoon (15.00 GMT), the use of a mask is mandatory and the auditors also distribute gloves to voters when depositing The vote.

The Turkish Cypriots are faced with the possibility of choosing between two candidates whose positions on the solution to the problem of the division of Cyprus are diametrically opposed.

The current president, Mustafá Akinci, defends a federal solution, with political equality between both communities – Turkish and Greek – while his opponent, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, is in favor of further strengthening ties with Turkey – the only country that recognizes the TRNC- and to create in Cyprus either a confederation or two completely separate states.

Last Sunday in the first round, the 60-year-old Tatar, leader of the Party of National Unity (PUN) was in first place with 32.34% of the votes.

Akinci, 73, who has been independent and has led the RTNC since 2015, won 29.80% of the vote.

© Provided by Agencia EFE

After casting his vote this morning, Akinci expressed his hope that the Turkish Cypriots will remember today “proud of democracy” in the RTNC and that the results will be “beneficial” for the entire island and the region.

Tatar, for his part, said that citizens should choose a person they consider “will be the president of all, inclusive and committed.”

There is no clear trend on who will be the winner, since on the one hand Akinci has the support of the center-left Turkish Republican Party (CTP), led by Tufan Erhürman, who in the first round was ranked third with the 21.71%, but other candidates have avoided speaking out for or against either of the two applicants.

That is the case of the Foreign Minister, Kudret Ozersay, who was in fourth position with 5.74%, or the leader of the Democratic Party, Serdar Denktash, who obtained 4.17%. Both are in their positions closest to the Tatar line.

On the other hand, Tatar, in addition to his party, will be backed by the Renaissance Party, whose candidate in the first round, Erhan Arikli, obtained 5.41%.

According to local observers, apart from the support each candidate may obtain, a determining factor will be participation. In the first round last Sunday it reached a record low of 58.22%.

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is divided between Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north since in 1974 the Turkish troops occupied this northern part and promoted the creation of the TRNC, which announced its independence in 1983 without recognition by the UN. EFE

© Provided by Agencia EFE

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(c) EFE Agency


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