Turkish Cypriots choose leader with peace deal at stake

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Turkish 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. Sunday’s election comes amid allegations that Turkey is overtly trying to steer the 200,000-strong electorate toward right-wing candidate Ersin Tatar who advocates fully aligning Turkish Cypriot polices with those of Ankara. Analysts predict a race between leftist incumbent Mustafa Akinci, center-left CTP party leader Tufan Erhurman and Tatar. The election in Cyprus’ breakaway north is likely to head into a runoff in a week.

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