NICOSIA – Cypriots headed on Sunday to polling stations to cast their ballots in the second round of the presidential election.
The current head of the state, the conservative Nicos Anastasiades, is up against leftist-backed Stavros Malas, who is running for the presidency for the second time.
A total of 550,876 voters are eligible to cast ballots in the polling stations, which will remain open from 0500 GMT until 1600 GMT, to elect the new president for a term of five years.
Cypriots who live abroad can also vote in 38 polling stations in various countries, including Greece, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
In the first round, Anastasiades got 35.50 percent of the votes against 30.25 percent for Malas, the independent candidate backed by the communist party AKEL.
The latest polls do not show a clear favorite for this second round, although Anastasiades was the favorite in first round.
The presidential election is being held for the 13th time in the history of Cyprus, at a critical moment in the talks for the reunification of the island after the failure of last summer’s negotiations.
According to the Interior Ministry, it is expected that the official results of the count will be announced around 1730 GMT.