Incumbent Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades comfortably won a second five-year term in Sunday’s runoff vote.
The conservative statesman was on 55.9 percent with 95 percent of the votes counted, while left-wing challenger Stavros Malas secured 44 percent.
The result is similar to the previous presidential election five years ago, when Anastasiades had won his first term with 57.4 percent against Malas’s 42.6 percent.
Turnout yesterday was at 74 percent, slightly higher than the previous Sunday’s first round of voting.
Anastasiades, 71, has been widely credited with steering the Cypriot economy to recovery after its economy was battered in 2013 due to its exposure to the Greek debt crisis and the fiscal shortcomings of the country’s previous left-wing administration.
The crisis led to a bailout program prescribed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, from which Cyprus emerged in 2016. The bailout stipulated a seizure of uninsured deposits, known as a “bail-in.”
Malas conceded defeat soon after the exit poll results were released.
“The people have spoken and their decision is respected. I would like to congratulate Nicos Anastasiades, with whom I have already spoken,” he said.
“I would like to wish him a good tenure and hope that he looks after Cyprus. I also congratulate candidates that were in the first round, particularly (DIKO leader) Nikolas Papadopoulos and (Citizens’ Alliance leader) Giorgos Lillikas for their contribution toward the democratic process.”