Incumbent president ousted in Northern Cyprus vote

Ersin Tatar

Ersin Tatar, prime minister of the breakaway state of North Cyprus, won a presidential election runoff on Sunday with 51.74% of votes, a statement of the electoral board read. His opponent - Mustafa Akinci - the 72-year-old incumbent president, received 48.26% after all votes were counted.

Tatar supports separate sovereign administrations on the island, while Akinci wants to work to reunite the island, which split after a Turkish invasion in 1974 in response to a brief Greek-inspired coup.

Only Turkey recognises Northern Cyprus as an independent state. As well as having an impact on inter-island talks, the result of Northern Cyprus’ election may influence negotiations over contested maritime claims in the eastern Mediterranean, which has Turkey at odds with Greece and Cyprus.

Earlier this month, Tatar, speaking alongside Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said Northern Cyprus was reopening part of the beachfront of a resort abandoned for 46 years, a move that could hurt efforts to revive dispute settlement talks.

The president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, however, called the move illegal.

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