ATHENS Feb 17 Cypriot conservative leader Nicos
Anastasiades leads with a 45.3 percent share of the vote in
Sunday's presidential election with 21 percent of the votes
counted, interior ministry data showed.
The 66-year-old lawyer, who is in favour of a quick bailout
deal with European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders
to avert a Cypriot bankruptcy, must have the backing of over 50
percent of voters to avoid a run-off a week later.
Leftist rival Stavros Malas, who is backed by the Communist
party AKEL, had a 25.8 percent share of the vote, while a third
contender, independent candidate George Lillikas, had 26 percent
share of the vote, according to the initial results.