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Cyprus' Archbishop Predicts Leftist Presidential Hopeful Will Lose

Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II (file photo)

The Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II, has thrown his weight behind President Nicos Anastasiades, ahead of the incumbent’s run-off vote against a leftist challenger.
Anastasiades and communist-backed independent Stavros Malas will face off on Sunday to see who will become the eighth president of the Republic of Cyprus.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Anastasiades at the presidential palace in Nicosia on Friday, the clergyman predicted Malas “will not be elected”.
Malas has ruled out a rule for the church in appointing Cyprus’ education minister, if he is elected on Sunday.
Chrysostomos said the Orthodox Church would back Anastasiades in his bid for another five-year term.
Anastasiades had gone into Sunday’s election as the favorite in a campaign dominated by the economy and stalled efforts to reunify the divided island.
Among the nine candidates for the top job — all male — the center-right Democratic Rally leader was projected to win the first round.
However, although Cyprus’ economy has improved since 2013, failed UN-backed peace talks over reuniting the island in July last year, collapsed.

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