Nicosia – Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, was re-elected for a second term in office with 56% of the vote, yesterday.
Stavros Malas, who contested the election backed by leftist party, AKEL, trailed behind with 44%.
In a speech at the proclamation ceremony at the “Tassos Papadopoulos – Eleftheria” stadium in Nicosia, Anastasiades called for unity to address future challenges and thanked the people who have taken part in the election process, irrespective of who they had voted for.
Surrounded by members of his family, close associates and supporters, Anastasiades said he is “moved, proud and grateful for the trust the people of Cyprus” have showed him.
“I thank all the people who participated in the election process, irrespective of who they had voted for. I am grateful to all the people who gave me a powerful mandate, a mandate to unite forces… There are no ideological colours”, the President said.
Whatever has been said during the election campaign was erased tonight by me, he said.
What matters, he added, “is tomorrow; how we work together to deal with the problems the young people are facing and the problems vulnerable groups of society are facing, how we modernise the state, how we continue with the same determination to maintain conditions of meritocracy and combat corruption.”
He called on everyone to unite and have as a priority efforts to end the continuing Turkish occupation, “through a solution which does not disregard the security concerns of the Greek Cypriots nor does it ignore the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriots.”
“I acknowledge that we still have a lot to offer and I also acknowledge that we still need to do more and that is why I insist on unity and wider cooperation,” the President underlined, adding that “only through cooperation can we secure everything we owe to the people of Cyprus.”
At the ‘losing camp’, in statements to the press shortly after he conceded, Malas said: “The people have spoken and their decision is respected… I know the result has disappointed you but we have to respect it. We fought an honourable battle.”
Voter turnout on Sunday came in at 73.7%, an abstention rate of 26.3% compared to a 71.4% turnout in the first round of the elections on January 28, which saw a 28.1% abstention rate.