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Cyprus elects new president amidst economic woes

Cyprus elects new president amidst economic woes
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The right wing leader of the opposition DISY party Nicos Anastasiades is the favourite to win Sunday’s presidential election in Cyprus.

His victory is expected to open the way for the country to wrap up an agreement to get the bailout requested.

Second in the polls is left wing candidate Stavros Malas, who has the backing of the socialist AKEL party, and says Cyprus must take advantage of huge gas deposits under the Levantine Sea in order to bolster the economy.

There are eleven candidates running in an election that will not be dominated by relations with the Turkish north for the first time since the 1974 invasion by Turkey.

The economic crisis is the top priority this time. Banks in Cyprus have lost 4.5 billion
euros and GDP has dropped 25 percent.

Exposure to the debt crisis in Greece has made Cyprus the fifth eurozone country to seek a bailout.

Independent presidential candidate George Lilikas, another frontrunner, wants to take the country out of the economic recession by boosting tourism and attracting foreign investment.

The election does not apply to the Turkish-held northern part of Cyprus and many there feel that economic crisis in the Greek part is overshadowing any attempts to move forward towards better relations.