World Bulletin / News Desk
Voters in Cyprus headed to the polls Sunday for a presidential election that could determine if the divided island makes another push to reunite after the collapse of talks last year.
The former lawyer -- under the slogan "Steady Steps Forward" -- has taken credit for an impressive recovery by the European Union's most easterly member since a debilitating financial crisis in 2013.
But apathy appears to be growing and Anastasiades seems unlikely to win outright in the first round.
He is expected to face a February 4 run-off against either dovish communist-backed Stavros Malas or Nikolas Papadopoulos, a former president's son who takes a tougher line on peace efforts.
"The economy is doing reasonably well -- but for me the main criterion is still the Cyprus problem," said university lecturer Andres Karageorghis after casting his ballot at a school in Nicosia.
"To carry on and hopefully find a solution."
If the first round is not decisive there is set to be intense horse-trading, and analysts say a backroom deal between the opponents of Anastasiades could still deny him a second and final five-year term.
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