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Nicosia, Oct 18 (AP) A hardliner who favours even closer ties with Turkey and a tougher stance with rival Greek Cypriots in peace talks has defeated the leftist incumbent in the Turkish Cypriot leadership runoff Sunday. Turkish Cypriot broadcaster BRT says with 100 per cent of the votes counted, Ersin Tatar secured 51.74 per cent of the vote compared to 48.26 per cent for Mustafa Akinci.

Tatar appears to have benefited from a higher turnout in the runoff, managing to rally supporters from the approximately 200,000-strong electorate who may not have voted in the first round. Akinci conceded defeat to Tatar in a speech to supporters at his campaign headquarters, congratulating his opponent on his victory.

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

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