Nikos Christodoulides becomes Cyprus’ new President after election win

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Nikos Christodoulides has been elected the new President of Cyprus during an election run-off on Sunday.

The former foreign minister secured 51.8% of the vote in a run-off election against independent candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis, who received 48.2% of the vote.

The result was immediately met with jubilation by supporters of the new president, as fireworks lit up the Nicosia sky and supporters clapped and danced.

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and President Katerina Sakellaropoulou were quick to congratulate Christodoulides on his election win.

Christodoulides said after his election win that his “highest priority” is the “reunification of our homeland” and he plans on visiting Athens, Greece on his first diplomatic trip.

His rival, Mavroyiannis told reporters: “Tonight a journey has ended, a great journey that I shared with thousands of people. I regret we couldn’t achieve the change that Cyprus needed.”

Outgoing President Nicos Anastasiades, who served two consecutive five-year terms, was ineligible to stand for re-election.

A long-time member of Anastasiades’ center-right Disy party, Christodoulides was ejected from the group after deciding to stand as an independent against Averof Neofytou, Disy’s official candidate.

Nikos Christodoulides.

The election comes at a time when the island’s economy is facing challenges from the global pandemic and the recent conflict in Ukraine.

In addition to overcoming economic challenges, the new President will also need to re-engage with breakaway Turkish Cypriots to resolve the division of the European Union member, while at the same time making best use of Cyprus’ natural gas deposits amid a reshaping of the global energy landscape.

The new leader must also confront voter concerns over perceived corruption in political circles.

Source: Bloomberg.

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