Anastasiades Faces Leftist Challenger in Cyprus Run-Off Vote



Incumbent leader Nicos Anastasiades and communist-backed independent Stavros Malas will face off next Sunday to see who will become the eighth president of the Republic of Cyprus.

The run-off vote is set to be held on Feb. 4 since no candidate secured over 50 percent of the vote on Sunday’s election.

During Sunday’s first round, Anastasiades garnered 35.5 percent while Malas, who is backed by the left-wing AKEL party, secured 30.3 percent.

Democratic Party leader Nicholas Papadopoulos trailed behind with 25.7 percent while ELAM leader Christos Christou was fourth with 5.6 percent.

Yiorgos Lillikas of the Citizens’ Alliance Movement came last with 2.2 percent.

Anastasiades had gone into Sunday’s election as the favorite in a campaign dominated by the economy and stalled efforts to reunify the divided island.

Among the nine candidates for the top job — all male — the center-right Democratic Rally leader was projected to win the first round.

However, although Cyprus’ economy has improved since 2013, failed UN-backed peace talks over reuniting the island in July last year collapsed.


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