Ersin Tatar

Right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar has won a leadership runoff vote in the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Iran PressEurope: With all of the ballots counted, the Ankara-backed Tatar secured 51.74 percent of the vote on Sunday, ahead of the incumbent Mustafa Akinci, at 48.26 percent, according to official media.

Tatar, who favors stronger ties with Turkey, had won 32.5 percent of the vote in last week’s first round, with Akinci closely following with 29.84 percent in a vote marked by low turnout, Aljazeera reported.

Tatar appears to have benefited from a higher turnout in the runoff. He managed to rally supporters from the approximately 200,000-strong electorate who may not have voted in the first round.

In a victory speech to his supporters, Tatar, who controversially received the open backing of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the election campaign, thanked the Turkish leader and said: “We deserve our sovereignty – we are the voice of Turkish Cypriots.

The outcome was instantly welcomed by the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Analysts said Tatar, aged 60 and until now prime minister in the self-declared territory had appeared to benefit from a higher turnout in the second-round ballot.

An estimated 42% of the occupied territory’s nearly 200,000-strong electorate chose not to vote in the first round on 11 October.


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