A man votes in the Presidential election in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Cypriots are voting Sunday for a new president who must tackle a financial crisis that has forced the country to seek international rescue money to stay solvent. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus heads into a runoff presidential election next weekend, with voters called on to select who will lead the country through a severe financial crisis after no candidate won an outright majority in Sunday’s vote.
Nicos Anastasiades, a right-winger who presented himself as the most capable to negotiate a bailout with Cyprus’ European partners and who went into the election a strong favorite, won the first round with just over 45 percent of the vote. But he fell short of the 50 percent plus one vote needed for an outright victory.
In the Feb. 24 runoff, he will face Stavros Malas, a left-winger who has advocated being more assertive in negotiations for bailout loans to limit the severity of austerity measures they require.
Final results Sunday night showed Anastasiades winning 45.46 percent, well ahead of Malas’ 26.91. Independent Giorgos Lallikas was a close third with 24.93 percent, and was eliminated from the running.
The change in leadership, after unpopular President Dimitris Christofias said he Login to read more