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).
It is expected that none of the candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.
The candidate of the ruling center-right Democratic Rally Party (DISY) Nicos Anastasiades and the communist-linked AKEL party’s candidate Stavros Malas are expected to run against each other in the second round.
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 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.
If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote this Sunday, the second round on next Sunday will determine the winner.