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Rightwing leader Nicos Anastasiades won Sunday's presidential election in Cyprus, tasked with negotiating a crucial bailout for the EU state on the brink of bankruptcy, exit polls on state television said.
The polls on CYBC television, released as polling stations closed in the runoff election, showed Anastasiades clinching 57-61 percent of the vote against an estimated 38-42 percent for Stavros Malas, backed by the communist party Akel.
The announcement sparked instant celebrations with a large crowd gathering outside the offices in Nicosia of the winner's Disy party and supporters honking car horns across Nicosia.
Conceding defeat, Akel MP Pambos Papageorgiou told the state broadcaster: "We consider that he (Anastasiades) has been elected and we congratulate him."