NEWS

Anastasiades sweeps to victory in Cypriot election

Conservative Nicos Anastasiades secured 57.5 percent of the vote in Sunday’s run-off to get elected President of the Republic of Cyprus, beating leftist Stavros Malas.

The final result of the second round of the presidential election in Cyprus showed Anastasiades got 57.48 percent, Malas collected 42.52 percent of the vote.

“We must fight our battle together otherwise we will all lose“, said Anastasiades after his official declaration by the electoral committee as the winner of the run-off at the Tassos Papadopoulos sports hall in Nicosia.

“We will continue working with our European partners in order to complete the loan agreement, but in a way that will safeguard social cohesion and labor peace. Cyprus irrevocably belongs to Europe.

“One of our first actions will be applying for membership in Partnership for Peace, as the Parliament has decided,” Anastasiades pledged.

“Cooperation with Greece will revert to being a top priority for our policy,” he said in a shot at outgoing President Dimitris Christofias.

“I will not tolerate partition of our island, I will work toward its unity and the departure of troops. I will commit myself to a Cyprus that is free, reunified and totally European,” he added.

He went on to show his gratitude not only to his party, the Democratic Rally, but also the other parties that supported his candidacy, the Democratic Party (DIKO) and the European Party (EVROKO).

Turnout was slightly smaller than in the first round, at 81.5 percent against 83 percent, but the number of invalid votes was three times as high as last Sunday.

“What is paramount at the moment is the unity of the people. Now Cyprus takes priority,” said a calm Malas upon conceding his defeat.

Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras spoke on the telephone with Anastasiades and congratulated him on his election, according to Cypriot state broadcaster CyBC.

Anastasiades, a lawyer born in Limassol 66 years ago and educated in Greece and in Great Britain, will be sworn in on March 1.

Reports suggest he will appoint Nobel laureate Christopher Pissarides as his Finance Minister, and Ioannis Kassoulides as Foreign Minister.