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Early results show Cypriot conservative chief with strong lead
February 17, 2013 / 5:21 PM / 5 years ago

Early results show Cypriot conservative chief with strong lead

ATHENS (Reuters) - 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.

A woman comes out of a booth on her way to cast her ballot inside a polling station in Limassol February 17, 2013. Cypriots went to the polls on Sunday to elect a president who will have to take responsibility for negotiating a financial rescue to save the small island nation from a bankruptcy that would reignite the euro zone debt crisis. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

The 66-year-old lawyer, who is in favor 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.

Reporting by Michele Kambas, Writing by Deepa Babington

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