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“Above all else, we must all unite forces to counter this economic crisis which unfortunately our homeland has never experienced before,” he said.

Mr. Malas, who is backed by the communist-rooted AKEL party, urged voters not to turn their backs to what he called the most crucial election in the country’s history.

The financial crisis has overtaken the country’s ethnic division as the primary campaign issue in some 40 years. Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974, when Turkish invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. The latest round of reunification talks between Mr. Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu resulted in deadlock.

Turnout in Sunday’s vote stood at 83.14 percent of the 545,491 eligible voters.

• Geir Moulson in Berlin and Elena Becatoros in Athens contributed to this article.