The top two contenders for the leadership in the north will face each other in a runoff election, after Turkish Cypriot voters went to the polls Sunday with the roadmap to peace on the divided island hanging in the balance.
Incumbent Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the north’s current top executive administrator Ersin Tatar will go up against each other next Sunday in a runoff election, after they emerged as the two leading candidates for the leadership position with none of them securing enough votes to declare victory.
Tatar received 32.35% of the votes while Akinci got 29.84%.
Stelgias said the incumbent could get backing from political leaders in response to recent moves by Ankara seen as meddling in the election
The turnout out of a total of 198,867 registered voters came to 58.04%, while some 22,000 new voters have registered in the north since the last election five years ago.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot as well as foreign analysts have pointed out that these elections carry enormous significance for the fate of the Cyprus Problem.
Kathimerini’s Nicos Stelgias, who said voter abstention was the “real winner” on Sunday, pointed out election pundits spoke of disappointment felt by the average Turkish Cypriot amid the coronavirus pandemic and a more general economic crisis.
Stelgias also said Tatar now has a difficult task ahead of him this week, despite finishing on top with 33%, as he is expected to hunt for votes from his opponents as well as seek the backing of other opposition candidates.
Akinci will also need to seek support from some of his opponents, with Stelgias saying the incumbent could get backing from political leaders in response to recent moves by Ankara seen as meddling in the election.
Turkish Cypriot voters will once again have to choose on October 18 between a hawkish Tatar who favours alternative solutions to reaching a settlement on the Cyprus issue and a dovish Akinci who insists on staying the course for a federal solution.
Story has been updated with political analysis obtained by Kathimerini Cyprus