The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will elect its 50 parliamentary deputies from over 400 candidates.

People sit next to campaign posters for parliamentary elections at a cafe in the northern part of Nicosia in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on January 3, 2018.
People sit next to campaign posters for parliamentary elections at a cafe in the northern part of Nicosia in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on January 3, 2018. (AFP)

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is heading for early general elections on Sunday to elect its 50 parliamentary deputies – the results of which can impact efforts to reunite the island.

In November, the TRNC parliament voted 38 to 2 on a motion, green-lighting early elections. Under the motion, general elections originally planned for July 2018 were moved up seven months to January 7.

At least 400 candidates from eight parties and nine independent candidates will be competing for the 50 seats in the parliament in Sunday's election.

"I think about all election issues when I make my decision [to vote]. There is only one party I support and I trust in, and I will vote for that party," said Sadan Karsili, a shopkeeper from northern Cyprus.

But another shopkeeper, Guray Altun, said, "I am thinking of not voting because I'm not happy with any government we've had. They waste money coming from Turkey and they don't deal with people's problems. They're incompetent."

The election campaigns of the political parties and their candidates were expected to end in the capital Lefkosa on Saturday afternoon.

Cyprus has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, with the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK collapsing earlier this year.

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

TRT World's Andrew Hopkins reports from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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.

Since the last general elections held in January 2013, the TRNC 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.

Source: TRT World