Former foreign minister places first in Cyprus presidential vote; runoff to be held Feb. 12

Paul Tugwell and Georgios Georgiou, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

Cypriots will return to the ballot box on Feb. 12 to choose a leader who can oversee the Mediterranean island’s economic recovery as the fallout from the war in Ukraine continues to pose a threat.

Nicos Christodoulides, 49, an independent candidate, will face Andreas Mavroyiannis, 66, in the runoff with more than 99% of the vote counted. He captured 32% of the vote Sunday compared with 29.6% for Mavroyiannis, who’s also standing as an independent candidate and is backed by the leftist Akel party, according to Cypriot Interior Ministry figures.

Christodoulides served as government spokesman and foreign minister in the first and second administrations of outgoing President Nicos Anastasiades, who was ineligible to stand after completing two terms in office.

While a longtime member of the center-right Disy party of Anastasiades, Christodoulides was ejected from the group after deciding to stand as an independent against its official candidate, Averof Neofytou, who came third.


Mavroyiannis is a career diplomat who served as Cypriot ambassador to the United Nations, France and Ireland. Most recently he was the negotiator of the Greek-Cypriot community in talks for the reunification of Cyprus.

Cyprus’ main challenges moving forward are the economy, reunification, corruption and immigration. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey occupied the northern third of the island following a coup by supporters of the country’s union with Greece.

Both candidates favor strict adherence to budgets and aim to balance them. The nation’s economy is seen growing 3% this year, well above the average forecast for Europe.

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