World Bulletin / News Desk
Independent candidate Mustafa Akinci won the run-off presidential election in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the country's Supreme Election Committee announced Sunday.
With nearly all ballots counted, Akinci took 60.38 percent of the vote, followed by incumbent President Dervis Eroglu with 39.62 percent.
Nearly 177,000 voters were eligible to participate in the second round of elections.
The committee said official results will be announced later on Sunday night.
Eroglu congratulated his successor, who will be the fourth president of the country and will serve a five-year term, saying he was ready to exchange views with Akinci over peace talks with Greek Cypriots.
Eroglu also thanked his supporters and said that Sunday's presidential bid was his last political election. However, he said that he would continue to express his ideas and thoughts over policy.
Negotiations between the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot administration had resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013.
However, the Greek Cypriot administration suspended the talks over the divided island on Oct. 7, 2014 after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the coast of Cyprus.
In October 2014, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot government strongly opposed any "unilateral" move by the Greek Cypriot side to explore for hydrocarbon resources around the island, saying its natural resources should be exploited in an equitable manner under a united Cyprus.
The Turkish Cypriot government has repeatedly said that the resources of the island of Cyprus belong to both communities, and that the Turkish Cypriots would not give up their rights to the resources.
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and UN special adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide congratulated Akinci over the phone, a statement issued by Akinci's office said.
Eide is due to visit the island on May 4 for the resumption of negotiations, calling 2015 the year of "opportunity,” the statement added.
Who is Akinci?
The 67-year-old president-elect served as chairman of the Communal Salvation Party (TKP) between 1987 and 2000.
Akinci also served as deputy prime minister and tourism minister between1999-2001. He was a lawmaker in parliament between 1993-2009.
Conservative bill was widely expected to fail in the chamber
Washington urges Moscow to reign in ally amid offensive in de-escalation zone
‘Koko touched lives of millions as an icon for interspecies communication and empathy’, Gorilla Foundation says
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says they will look into strengthening transatlantic bond in summit next month
Administration to no longer require immediate legal proceedings for undocumented adults who cross illegally with children
Trump administration makes request following backlash over its immigration policy
President says he will take ‘preemptive’ action to halt the actions that have drawn widespread criticism
Al-Sadr’s Sairoon bloc fails to form governing coalition with Al-Wataniya, National Wisdom Movement
Top Trump advisers arrive in Cairo after earlier stops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Official results of May 12 elections have been dogged by controversy
Muhammed Ebu Dekka was wounded by Israeli gunfire on May 14, says Palestinian Health Ministry
Protestors march from Bryant Park to United Nations headquarters
U.S. withdrew from UN rights council, accusing it of being hypocritical and biased against Israel
New rule is latest effort by Trump to dismantle former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act