News / Europe

Cyprus Votes for New President

A man votes in the Presidential election in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus, February 17, 2013.A man votes in the Presidential election in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus, February 17, 2013.
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A man votes in the Presidential election in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus, February 17, 2013.
A man votes in the Presidential election in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus, February 17, 2013.
VOA News
Voters in Cyprus are going to the polls Sunday to elect a new president who must negotiate a financial rescue to prevent a government bankruptcy that could reignite the euro zone debt crisis.

The change in leadership comes at a crucial juncture for Cyprus as the other countries that use the euro are expected to soon decide on a financial lifeline for the tiny country.

Right-wing opposition leader Nico Anastasiades has led opinion polls over his two main rivals, left-wing Stavros Malas and independent Giorgos Lillikas. If Anastasiades wins an outright majority, he would avoid a run-off vote.

Anastasiades is the most pro-bailout figure among the contenders. Malas has campaigned on a pro-bailout, but anti-austerity platform, while Lillikas has rejected a bailout, saying Cyprus could extricate itself from its financial woes by selling its natural gas reserves.

Current President Demetris Christofias is not seeking re-election.

Lagging far behind as an election issue is reuniting Cyprus after its division nearly 40 years ago into a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north and the internationally recognized southern state run by Greek Cypriots.

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