The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) ruling National Unity Party (UBP) came in first in the early parliamentary elections held on Sunday, according to preliminary results Monday.
Unofficial results announced by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) showed that all votes have been counted and UBP secured 39.54% of the vote.
The ruling party is followed by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) with 32.04%, Democrat Party (DP) with 7.41%, Rebirth Party (YDP) with 6.39%, and People's Party (HP) with 6.68%.
The Communal Democracy Party (TDP), Communal Liberation Party New Forces (TKP-YG), and Independence Path Party (BY) stayed below the 5% threshold, according to the election authority.
With the current standings, UBP gets 24 seats, CTP 18, DP 3, HP 3, and YDP two in the 50-member parliament.
Compared to the previous election, the UBP increased their number of seats by three, the number of seats of the CTP increased by 50%, while the HP decreased from nine deputies to three deputies.
Speaking to the press, TRNC Prime Minister and UBP leader Faiz Sucuoglu said his party finished the early election race ahead and will start work on forming a coalition government.
Eight parties ran in the election, with 403 candidates contesting for seats in parliament.
Among the candidates were 131 women – nearly one-third – with the youngest born in 1996.
With COVID-19 cases surging recently due to the omicron variant, health measures kept political rallies small, with no more than 150 people allowed. Those diagnosed with COVID-19 were not eligible to vote.
The TRNC last November set the date for early elections, one year ahead of schedule.
Some 40 of the 49 current deputies of the parliament ran in the election.
After Ersin Tatar was elected the TRNC’s president, the number of deputies in parliament decreased to 49.