Turkish Cypriot voters head to the polls on Sunday for a second time to choose between the incumbent leader and his challenger in a highly contested election.
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Incumbent Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the north’s current top executive administrator Ersin Tatar go up against each other after emerging last Sunday as the two leading candidates for the leadership position.
All bets were off since first round, with independent Akinci getting big support from the left and Tatar going after undecided voters
Tatar came on top in the first round with 32.35% of the votes while Akinci got 29.84%.
But all bets were off during a week of negotiations between opposition parties and the two contenders, with social democrat Akinci getting big support from the left which supports a federal solution to reunify the divided island.
Tatar, who is backed by Ankara and right wing voters in the north, favours alternative solutions to the Cyprus Problem, such as two states, a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, Tatar campaign volunteers have been going after undecided voters who apparently did not vote in the first round, when abstention reached 42% that was described as unusually high for the Turkish Cypriot electorate. Tatar is also seeking support from voters of centre and right of centre opposition candidates who lost last Sunday.
Polls opened Sunday morning at 8am and will close in the evening at 6pm, with a total of 199,072 registered voters eligible to vote. Results are expected Sunday night.