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Northern Cyprus to hold second round of presidential election

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Northern Cyprus to hold second round of presidential election

Cyprus presidential election
Photo: Birol Bebek/ AFP/ Getty

Residents of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) head to the polls today for the second round of voting in the presidential election.

Today’s vote is a runoff between incumbent independent candidate President Akinci and National Unity Party (UBP) candidate Prime Minister Ersin Tatar. Cypriot unity remains the big-ticket issue today. In the first round of voting, Tatar earned 32.35% of the vote to Akinci’s 29.84%, which proved an upset for the favoured Akinci. In line with UN initiatives, Akinci supports a unified Cyprus under a federalist system while Tatar prefers a realist approach and supports a two-state Cyprus, in line with Turkey.

The candidate selected today will be immediately tested on their vision for Cyprus. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has planned a meeting for Cyprus’ three guarantors to assess resuming peace talks following the results of the TRNC elections. If Tatar wins, he will push forward with the two-state solution, potentially inflaming tensions with Greece. An Akinci win would mean there is a real chance for unification talks to move forward. In the long run, the results of the meeting will set the tone for future meetings on Cyprus’ territorial dispute.

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