19 Feb 2013

2nd round ahead in Cypriot election

5:50 am on 19 February 2013

No candidate has won an outright majority in the presidential election in Cyprus, meaning a second round of voting will be held on Sunday.

Whoever wins, their most pressing task will be to negotiate bailout funding from the EU and the IMF.

Frontrunner Nicos Anastasiades fell short of the 50% needed for an outright majority.

With all the votes counted, Mr Anastasiades, secured 45.46%, well ahead of his nearest rival, Stavros Malas, on 26.91%. Independent George Lillikas got 24.93%.

Mr Anastasiades and Mr Malas, who is backed by the Akel party, will now contest the run-off vote.

The BBC reports the election has been dominated by the financial crisis. Cyprus was the fifth eurozone state to seek a bailout.

Domestic banks suffered huge losses as a result of the restructuring of Greece's sovereign debt.

Cyprus has requested 17 billion euros ($US22.7 billion ) from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund - an amount roughly equal to Cyprus's gross domestic product (GDP).