The Turkish-backed hardliner beats the left-wing sitting in the Turkish-Cypriot runoff

Right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar, backed by Ankara, scored a surprise victory in a final presidential election on Sunday in the northern Cyprus eruption, official results show.

Tatar, which is in favor of a two-state solution on the divided island, won 51.73 percent ahead of current Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who had been tipped off to win another term.

Tatar seemed to have benefited from a higher turnout in the runoff and managed to rally supporters from the roughly 200,000-strong voters who may not have voted in the first round.

Akinci admitted defeat to Tatar in a speech to supporters at his campaign headquarters and congratulated his opponent on the victory.

“We went through an election contest that was not normal (…) These results mark the end of my 45-year political career,” Akinci said. “I wish good luck to our people.”

( Jowharwith AFP, AP)