Cyprus is holding a presidential election on Sunday where the successor to President Nicos Anastasiades will be elected.
A record number of candidates will compete in the elections. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held on February 12th.
Anastasiades of the Democratic Rally, who won the presidential elections in 2013 and 2018, is ineligible to run due to the two-term limit.
There are three main candidates for the Presidency: ruling-DISY backed Averof Neophytou, AKEL-backed independent Andreas Mavroyiannis, and DIKO and EDEK-backed independent Nikos Christodoulides.
The frontrunners of the election in Cyprus
The frontrunners all have ties to Anastasiades. Christodoulides left his role as the minister of foreign affairs to run as an independent backed by centrist parties. Anastasiades’s conservative Democratic Rally (DISY) is fielding Averof Neofytou, the party’s president.
The main opposition party, the leftist Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), is backing Andreas Mavroyiannis, a diplomat running as an independent. Mavroyiannis presents himself as an agent of change, although he served as Anastasiades’s main negotiator in the Cyprus peace talks from 2013 until he announced his candidacy last year.
Also running for the position are independents Achilleas Demetriades, Yiorgos Kolokassides, and Constantinos Christofides.
Far-right ELAM leader Christos Christou is also on the ballot as are Andreas Efstratiou, Loucas Stavrou, Celestina De Petro, Andronikos Zervides, Alexios Savvides, Charalambos Aristotelous, and Julia Hovrina Komninos.
Every candidate in the upcoming election has pledged to resume peace talks.
Coincidentally, two of the conflict’s other stakeholders, Greece and Turkey, are due to hold elections in the coming months.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled recently that he intended to call the next general election for May 14, perhaps a few weeks after the elections in Greece, widely expected in late April.
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