Malas resigned from his ministerial position on October 12, 2012 in order to be able to join the presidential race.
The incumbent President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, who once led AKEL, is not seeking re-election. His term has been marked by economic struggle due to the country's banks' exposure to Greece and the highest unemployment in decades. Additionally, the island's worst peacetime disaster occurred during Christofias' rule when an accidental explosion of confiscated munitions destroyed Cyprus' largest power station in July 2011.
Malas' main challengers are Nicos Anastassiades, head of the opposition right-wing Democratic Rally and George Lillikas, a former Cyprus' foreign minister.
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