Turkish Cypriots head to ballot boxes Sunday
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is heading for early general elections on Sunday, Jan. 7, to elect its 50 parliamentary deputies.
Four-hundred candidates from eight parties and nine independent candidates will be competing for the 50 seats in the parliament in Sunday's election.
The eight parties running in the election are the National Unity Party (UBP), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), the Democrat Party (DP), the Peoples' Party (HP), the Communal Liberation Party-New Forces (TKP-YG), and the Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP) as well as the Renaissance Party (YDP).
An election threshold of five percent is in effect in the country, where there are 190,551 electorates.
The majority of the deputies (16) will come from the capital Lefkosa while Gazimagusa will be represented by 13 deputies. Girne will be represented by 10 deputies, Iskele by five, Guzelyurt by four, and Lefke by two deputies.
The election campaigns of the political parties and their candidates still continue and are expected to end in the capital Lefkosa on Saturday afternoon.
Since the last general elections held in Jan. 2013, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has experienced three coalition governments led by three different prime ministers.
The current UBP-DP coalition government is headed by TRNC's Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.
In November, by a vote of 38-2, the TRNC parliament passed a motion green-lighting early elections. Under the motion, general elections originally planned for July 2018 were moved up seven months to Jan. 7.