February 24, 2013 / 4:35 PM / in 5 years

Early results show Cypriot conservative chief with strong lead

NICOSIA, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Cypriot conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades took a commanding lead in Sunday’s presidential runoff with a 56.8 percent share of the vote after 10 percent of votes were counted, interior ministry data showed.

Leftist rival Stavros Malas, who is backed by the Communist party AKEL, trailed with a 43.3 share of the vote.

Anastasiades is in favour of a quick bailout deal with European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders to avert a looming Cypriot bankruptcy, while Malas has promised to drive a hard bargain on the austerity terms accompanying a rescue.

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