Cyprus presidential vote to go to runoff Feb 12, exit poll says

Cyprus goes to polls to elect new president
Cyprus independent presidential candidate Nikos Christodoulides meets with supporters outside a polling station on the day of the presidential election, in Geroskipou near Paphos, Cyprus, February 5, 2023. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

NICOSIA, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Former Cypriot foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides was in the lead in Cyprus's presidential election on Sunday, an exit poll showed, but was likely to fall short of an outright majority and face a runoff on Feb. 12.

Christodoulides, running as an independent, was seen taking between 30.5% and 33.5% of the vote. Averof Neophytou, leader of the ruling conservative DISY party, and independent leftist-backed candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis were neck-and-neck with both between 26.5% and 29.5%, an exit poll for the state broadcaster showed, based on 76 percent of respondents counted.

Voting ended at 1600 GMT.

Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

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