Cyprus heads back to polls for presidential runoff

NICOSIA - Greek Cypriots headed back to the polls on Sunday in a runoff presidential vote between an incumbent conservative pledging to re-energize talks at ending the island's division, and a leftist opponent who accuses him of squandering chances of a deal.

Sunday's ballot pits President Nicos Anastasiades, 71, against leftist backed Stavros Malas. Polling stations opened at 0500 GMT with exit polls giving a first snapshot of voting when they close at 1600 GMT. Results should be final a little over two hours after voting ends.

Anastasiades got 35.51 and Malas 30.24 percent of the vote in the first round of elections on Jan. 28, with the remaining cast among candidates who had taken a harder line than either in peace talks with estranged Turkish Cypriots.

But many voters also preferred to stay away, with the abstention rate at 28 percent.

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