Exit polls show Cyprus election race too close to call

Other News Materials 17 February 2008 19:47 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- First exit polls on the Cyprus presidential elections showed the vote too close to call on which of the candidates will go to a run-off election on February 24.

Exit polls suggest it will be a neck and neck race between two main contenders: incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos, 74, who led the southern part of the island to reject a 2004 UN peace plan, and Demetrios Christofias, 61, of the AKEL communist party.

A third candidate, former foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides, 59, of the right-wing DISY party is also a strong candidate.

Exit polls show Papadopoulos to have earned 32 to 35 per cent of the vote, Christofias 31-34 per cent and Kassoulides 30.5-33.5 per cent.

If no candidate receives at least 50 per cent of votes, the election would be settled in a February 24 run-off between the top two vote-getters.