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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Daniel is the Chief Operating Officer of Foreign brief. He oversees the production and publishing of all of Foreign Brief's products. His background is in the air, space and cyberspace domains of national security and Indo-Pacific geopolitics. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.