UPDATES WITH UNOFFICIAL VOTING RESULTS
By Furkan Naci Top
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) - Voting to elect the new leader of the Greek Cypriot administration in the divided island of Cyprus has ended at 6.00 p.m. local time (1500GMT).
According to the unofficial results, none of the candidates in Sunday's election passed the 50 percent election threshold, thus leading to the second round on February 4.
The Greek Cypriots' new leader will be announced after the second round to be held between the candidate of the ruling center-right Democratic Rally Party (DISY) Nicos Anastasiades and the communist-linked AKEL party’s candidate Stavros Malas.
Anastasiades remained at 35.5 percent by receiving 137,235 of votes and Malas remained at 30.3 percent by receiving 116,942 votes, unofficial results stated.
The unofficial results from the Greek Cypriot administration's Interior Ministry said other candidates including Nicholas Papadopoulos of the center-right DIKO party received 25.7 percent, Christou Christos of the National People's Front (ELAM) 5.6 percent, Giorgos Lillikas of the Citizens' Alliance 2.2 percent, Michael Minas of the Party of Justice 0.2 percent, and independent candidates Haris Aristidou and Andreas Evstratiu each received 0.2 percent and Christakis Kapiliotis received 0.1 percent of the votes.
Voting at the Greek Cypriot administration started at 7.00 a.m. local time (0400GMT) and continued until 6.00 p.m. local time (1500GMT).
The exit polls by the Greek Cypriot media outlet RIK earlier predicted Anastasiades is finalizing the first round with 38-42 percent votes followed by Malas with 27-31 percent votes.
According to a statement by the election office, out of the 550,876 registered voters only 71.4 percent went to the ballots. The election office said the voter turnout was 10 points lower from the general turnout numbers.
The Greek Cypriot polls come in the wake of Jan. 7 general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Greek Cypriots' neighbor on the Eastern Mediterranean island.
If Anastasiades is reelected, peace negotiations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are expected to restart.