Over 190,000 Turkish Cypriots cast ballots for 379 candidates from 8 parties seeking seats in Parliament

Over 190,000 Turkish Cypriots were eligible to vote for 379 candidates from eight parties and nine independents seeking seats in parliament.
Over 190,000 Turkish Cypriots were eligible to vote for 379 candidates from eight parties and nine independents seeking seats in parliament. (AA)

Polls have closed in a snap general election in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and the count is expected to begin shortly.

Votes were cast at 719 polling stations across the country in the 14th election since 1976, when the TRNC was the Turkish Federated State of Northern Cyprus. The TRNC was founded in 1983.

Due to changes to the election system, the vote count may take longer than in previous years.

A total of 379 candidates from eight parties and nine independent candidates are competing for 50 seats in Parliament.

The eight parties running in the election are the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democrat Party (DP), who make up the current coalition government, plus the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Communal Democracy Party (TDP), Peoples' Party (HP), Communal Liberation Party-New Forces (TKP-YG), Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP), and Renaissance Party (YDP).

An election threshold of 5 percent applies in the TRNC, which has over 190,500 eligible voters.

TRTWorld's Andrew Hopkins has more.

The capital Lefkosa is represented by 16 deputies, the highest number. Among other cities and towns, Gazimagusa is represented by 13 deputies, Girne by 10, Iskele by five, Guzelyurt by four, and Lefke by two.

Since the last general elections in January 2013, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has had three coalition governments led by three different prime ministers.

The current UBP-DP coalition government is headed by Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.

In November, by a vote of 38-2, Parliament passed a motion calling for early elections. Under the motion, general elections originally planned for July 2018 were moved up seven months to Jan. 7.

Source: AA