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Nicos Anastasiades re-elected as Greek Cypriot leader

Nicos Anastasiades re-elected as Greek Cypriot leader
Anastasiades claims 56 percent of the vote, according to exit polls

By Furkan Naci Top and Murat Demirci

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) - Nicos Anastasiades was re-elected as Greek Cypriot leader in the second round of the presidential election on Sunday.

The first round was held on Jan. 28 during which none of the candidates passed the 50 percent threshold.

Anastasiades, supported by the conservative Democratic Rally (DISI) party, received 56 percent of the vote while Stavros Malas, supported by the communist Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) garnered 44 percent, according to exit polls.

Paticipation was at 73 percent.

The Greek Cypriot polls come in the wake of Jan. 7 general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the Greek Cypriot Administration's neighbor on the divided Eastern Mediterranean island.

Peace negotiations with the TRNC are expected to resume.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

Cyprus has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K. collapsing in 2017.

Turkey blames Greek Cypriot intransigence for the talks' failure, also faulting the European Union for admitting Cyprus as a divided island into the union in 2004 after Greek Cypriot voters rejected a peace deal.

source: News Feed
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