Turkish Cypriots voting in presidential runoff

Cypriots are voting for a leader tasked with overcoming deep political chasms with rival Greek Cypriots in order to pave the way for a deal to end 46 years of ethnic division in Cyprus and quell tensions over offshore energy reserves. (AP Photo)

Voting starts at 8 am local time, with over 199,000 registered voters eligible to cast ballots nationwide

Voters in the (TRNC) on Sunday have started casting ballots in the second round of presidential elections.

are voting to elect their president for the next five years, choosing between , prime minister and presidential nominee of the National Unity Party, and incumbent , an independent candidate.

The voting started at 8 a.m. local time (0500GMT) and is set to end at 6 p.m. local time (1500GMT).

In the first round on last Sunday, Oct. 11, Tatar came in first with 32.34% of the votes, while Akinci was second with 29.80%.

However, as none of the 11 candidates initially competing got more than 50% of the votes, Tatar and Akinci alone proceeded to round two.

Election authorities announced that over 199,000 registered voters are eligible to cast ballots in 738 ballot boxes.

Unofficial results are expected by 8 p.m. local time (1700GMT), followed by official results between 10 p.m. and midnight (1900-2100GMT).

COVID-19 measures

A total of 2,658 people appointed by election authorities will be on duty at polling stations.

The voters will enter rooms wearing masks, and staff will provide gloves.

Staffers will also ensure compliance with COVID-19 measures and prevent crowds during the vote.

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