March 20, 2023

Ex overseas minister with the ruling right-wing DISY social gathering faces off chief negotiator in peace talks with Turkish Cypriots in run-off.

Cyprus has gone to the polls in a presidential run-off that pits two profession diplomats in what could possibly be a cliffhanger vote that has break up the political proper.

Nikos Christodoulides, 49, a former overseas minister with the ruling right-wing DISY social gathering now standing as an unbiased, holds a slender lead after the primary spherical of voting on February 5 produced the shock elimination of DISY head Averof Neophytou.

Within the run-off vote on Sunday, he faces Andreas Mavroyiannis, 66, additionally a professed unbiased, who was chief negotiator in peace talks with Turkish Cypriots and a former everlasting consultant of Cyprus to the United Nations.

Christodoulides is backed by a smattering of heart and right-of-centre events and Mavroyiannis by the left-wing AKEL.

Polling stations shut at 6pm (16:00 GMT) within the race to succeed two-term conservative President Nicos Anastasiades as head of state and authorities of the tiny European Union member nation.

Anastasiades, of DISY, is prevented from searching for a 3rd time period by legislation and has stated he backs the social gathering line.

The following president faces issues starting from a impasse in reunification talks with Turkish Cypriots on the ethnically divided island and labor disputes stemming from runaway inflation to fallout from corruption scandals and an increase in migration.

Many disaffected voters will merely go for “the least worst candidate – a attribute in most elections, however extra so on this one”, stated Andreas Theophanous of assume tank the Cyprus Middle for European and Worldwide Affairs.

The winner wants 50 p.c plus one vote to succeed Anastasiades because the republic’s eighth president.

The outgoing president urged Cypriots to come back out “en masse to take part on this electoral course of”, including that “that is our obligation. The individuals determine, the bulk decides and the minority respects.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish forces occupied its northern third in response to a Greek-sponsored coup, however voters appeared break up over whether or not the division was a precedence within the election.

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