Cyprus picks new president amid economic doubt, ethnic split
NICOSIA Cypriots are voting Sunday for a new president who theyll expect to decisively steer the small island nation through shifting geopolitical sands and uncertain economic times that have become people's overriding concern, eclipsing stalemated efforts to remedy the countrys ethnic division.
The monthslong campaign has been a lackluster affair, primarily because the three leading candidates are all close associates of outgoing President Nicos Anastasiades and so their battles have centered on trying to persuade voters that theyre not all cut from the same cloth.
At the same time, theyve been angling for votes from across ideological lines by trying to evade the long shadow cast by the right-wing Anastasiades, whose detractors have accused him of enabling corruption to fester through his two-term, 10-year tenure. Anastasiades has vehemently denied the allegations.
From a record field of 14 candidates, the frontrunners include Averof Neophytou, the leader the center-right, pro-business Democratic Rally (DISY) Party, which Anastasiades previously led; and Nikos Christodoulides, a former foreign minister and government spokesman in Anastasiades administration. The third main candidate is Andreas Mavroyiannis, a former diplomat and Anastasiades lead negotiator with breakaway Turkish Cypriots in peace negotiations.
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