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Posted on Feb 18, 05:30AM | IANS
Nicosia, Feb 17 : Cypriot voters went to the polls Sunday to elect a new president.
A total of 11 presidential candidates are running but only three are considered to be serious contenders, reports Xinhua.
Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the Democratic Rally party who is also supported by the Democratic Party, the island's third largest political grouping, is widely expected to emerge the winner.
Anastasiades was expected to gain an absolute majority of the vote in the first round or win by a comfortable margin in a runoff election next Sunday.
In case of a runoff, Anastasiades likely would face Stavros Malas, a former health minister in the outgoing government who is supported by the current government left wing AKEL party, or Giorgos Lillikas, an former minister supported by the socialist EDEK party and a section of other center party voters.
The latest surveys showed that Anastasiades would get 45.7 percent of the votes in a runoff against the 31 percent Malas was expected to win.
The winner will face pressing problems left behind by outgoing President Demetris Christofias who did not run for a second term.