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Cypriot career diplomats rival in runoff presidential election

Cyprus is going through a runoff presidential election on Sunday. The candidates are Nikos Christodoulides, 49, a former foreign minister, and Andreas Mavroyiannis, 66, a top negotiator with the Turkish Cypriots and a former representative of Cyprus to the United Nations.

Around 561,000 Greek Cypriots are eligible to vote in the election. Polling stations are open from 05:00 GMT and will close at 16:00 GMT. The winner of the election and a new Cyprus president shall be announced at 18:00 GMT.

Cyprus, presidential election (second round) today:

➤ Eligible voters: 561,033
➤ Polling stations open (CET):
06:00 – 11:00
12:00 – 17:00
➤ Incumbent: Nicos Anastasiades (DISY-EPP) not eligible for re-election
➤ 2 Candidates#Κύπρος

— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) February 12, 2023
Christodoulides held a narrow lead in the first round of voting that took place on February 5.

#Cyprus #PresidentialElections2023 – Statement by the Chief Returning Officer on the results of the first round of the Presidential elections 👉

— Press and Information Office Cyprus (@CyprusPIO) February 5, 2023
Both candidates are running as independents backed by political parties. Christodoulides is supported by center and right-of-center groupings and Mavroyiannis by the left-wing AKEL. Mavroyiannis’s candidacy gained an extra opportunity when the DISY party said its members should vote with their conscience, not giving a clear support pattern for the voters.

The DISY leadership’s decision came after Christodoulides, a former party member, decided to break the ranks and run as an independent candidate.

The DISY party leaders have since expressed support for each candidate. This made any predictions of the election outcome even more difficult, the Phileleftheros daily said.

“Anger, bruised egos, a vote against AKEL, and similarities in ideology are all triggers which could sway today’s vote,” the front-page article covering the election says.

#PresidentialElections2023 #Cyprus – Repeat election: Statement by the Chief Returning Officer on the voter turnout until 10:00 a.m. 👉

— Press and Information Office Cyprus (@CyprusPIO) February 12, 2023
The island nation’s incumbent president Nicos Anastasiades of DISY is not allowed to run in the election because of the term limits law and declared he supports the party line. However, it is believed he wished the party to support Christodoulides.

‘It could change Cyprus’: question of reunification key to presidential runoff

— The Guardian (@guardian) February 11, 2023
The new president of Cyprus will have to deal with the crisis in the reunification talks with the Turkish Cypriots, labor disputes caused by inflation, corruption scandals, and increasing migration problems.

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