Cyprus votes for president with eyes on new peace push

After a lacklustre campaign, opinion polls put conservative incumbent Nicos Anastasiades, 71, ahead as he pledges to restart negotiations with the Turkish-backed north quickly after the vote.

Cyprus votes for president with eyes on new peace push

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.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ocak 2018, 12:38