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20:30, 16 August 2018 Thursday
Update: 11:33, 21 January 2018 Sunday

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President vowing new peace push leads in Cyprus re-election bid
President vowing new peace push leads in Cyprus re-election bid

After a low-key campaign, opinion polls put the conservative in the lead as he claims credit for the island's economic recovery since its debilitating financial crisis of 2013.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Cyprus gears up for a presidential election next week with incumbent Nicos Anastasiades favourite to win as he pledges a fresh push to reunify the divided island after talks collapsed last year.

Anastasiades, 71, however, looks unlikely to win the January 28 first round outright, and is expected to face a run-off on February 4 against either communist-backed Stavros Malas or Nikolas Papadopoulos, a former president's son who takes a tougher line on peace efforts.

Apathy appears high and opponents have failed to land a major blow on the former lawyer as he has pitched his bid for a second five-year term.

Barring a backroom deal between his opponents -- which analysts say is a possibility -- he looks set to win, according to opinion polls.

"I think Anastasiades will win," bank worker Costas Kakoullis, 54, told AFP at a campaign rally for the president at a sports club in Nicosia.

"Firstly because he has come so close to reunification and secondly because of the economy."

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