Former foreign minister holds lead in Cyprus vote, runoff on Feb 12

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 foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides held a lead in Cyprus presidential elections on Sunday, early results showed.

With 27% of the island-wide vote counted, independent candidate Christodoulides was polling 33.1%, while career diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis, backed by left-wing AKEL, was drawing 28% of the vote.

Averof Neophytou, head of the right-wing ruling DISY party, was close behind with 26.3%.

Reporting by Michele Kambas; editing by Jason Neely

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