"Presidential Elections" in Cyprus: Part 4 Part 4: Breakdown of the Election and System

by Amanda Naldjieff // Published May 6, 2010

       Unofficial results were expected to be reported at 7:00 pm local time; however, an unexpected announcement came at 5:00 pm when it was already clear that DerviÅŸ EroÄŸlu had won the election in the first round. In a presidential election, a minimum 50% must be obtained by a candidate in order to secure a first-round ballot victory, making a second-round runoff vote between the top two candidates unnecessary.

Reported Summary of Votes per Candidate:





*DerviÅŸ EroÄŸlu

National Unity Party (UBP)



Mehmet Ali Talat

Republican Turkish Party (RTP)



Tahsin ErtuÄŸruloÄŸlu




Zeki BeÅŸiktepeli




Mustafa Kemal TÏ‹mkan




Arif Salih KirdaÄŸ




Ayhan Kaymak






Total: 125,294

Total: 100% (76.37%)

Source: mahkemeler.net

       Of the 164,000 eligible voters, 125,294 cast ballots in 629 ballot boxes set up in the five electoral districts: LefkoÅŸa (Nicosia), GazimaÄŸusa (Famagusta), Girne (Kyrenia), Güzelyurt and Ä°skele. Reported turnout was 76.37%.

Reported Progress during Ballot Count:

20% of votes counted

EroÄŸlu : 48.9%

Talat : 43.7%

32% of votes counted

EroÄŸlu : 48.9%

Talat : 43.3%

40% of votes counted

EroÄŸlu : 49.2%

Talat : 43.3%

48% of votes counted

EroÄŸlu : 49.6%

Talat : 43.1%

60% of votes counted

EroÄŸlu : 49.7%

Talat : 43.0%

96% of votes counted

EroÄŸlu : 50.3%

Talat : 42.8%

100% of votes counted

EroÄŸlu : 50.38%

Talat : 42.85%

       Winning just barely over 50% of cast ballots with 50.38%, DerviÅŸ EroÄŸlu won the election with the majority of votes and became the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’s” third President, preceeded by Rauf DenktaÅŸ and Mehmet Ali Talat. Talat missed the opportunity of a run-off election that could have lead to his re-election by a slim 7.15%. It was expected that candidate Tahsin ErtuÄŸruloÄŸlu would have taken more votes away from EroÄŸlu, being as both were members of the National Unity Party (UBP) and he was a former chairman up until 2008. This expectation seems reasonable and would have resulted in an even smaller gap between EroÄŸlu and Talat. For this reason, a second round run-off election had already been scheduled for 25 April 2010. The previously described electoral system exemplifies what we here at FairVote commonly refer to as a Majority Run-Off System (Two-Round System), where a “straight run-off contest between the two highest vote-winners from the first round” takes place during a second round of voting.

       It also draws a few similarities with Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV) in the sense that the candidate who receives over 50% of votes is declared the winner. Additionally, if no one candidate receives 50% or more of the vote, the ballot count does simulate a serious of run-off elections; however, they do not use a ranking system where they rank candidates in order of preference; therefore they also do not declare a candidate who has won 50% of the first preference votes as the winner, nor do they eliminate the candidate with the fewest first-place votes and transfer their votes to the second choice candidates.

       Regarding the implications of EroÄŸlu’s victory, many Turkish Cypriots are hopeful that this will bring about many changes, especially pertaining to their equality and a solution of the Cyprus problem. On the other hand, many Greek Cypriots are pessimistic and feel that any hope of a civil solution to reunify them in any way has been ended. President Christofias of the Republic of Cyprus has expressed his desire to restart negotiation efforts with the “TRNC” under EroÄŸlu, but only time will tell if his campaign promises of continued efforts will be upheld regardless of his commitment to “two-state solution”.

And this concludes my Cyprus blog series. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you have any questions or additional points you would like me to address, please feel free to contact me. Thanks again!       Peace!