LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus /ANKARA

With 84% of boxes opened, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar is leading polls in the presidential runoff Sunday in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with 52.12% of votes.

The incumbent president and independent candidate, Mustafa Akinci, bagged 47.88% of the votes, according to the figures announced by Bayrak Radio Television Corporation in TRNC.

The voting ended at 6 p.m. local time (1500GMT) and vote counting process has started.

Turkish Cypriots voted Sunday to elect their president for the next five years, choosing between Ersin Tatar, prime minister and presidential nominee of the National Unity Party, and Akinci.

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).

The Supreme Committee of Election said that the turnout in the election was 61.03% as of 5 p.m. local time (1400GMT), while the turnout stood at 58.29% in the first round, making it the “presidential election with the lowest turnout”.

The Turkish Cypriots headed to polls for 10th time to elect their president since 1974.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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