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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