February 21. 2024. 7:36

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Centrist Christodoulides wins first round of Cyprus’ elections

Centrist Nikos Christodoulides won the first round of Cyprus’s presidential election on Sunday with 32.0%, defeating Andreas Mavroyiannis, who won 29.6% and was supported by the left-wing AKEL party during the election campaign.

Centre-right DISY party candidate (EPP), Averof Neofytou, came in third with 26.1%. This means that Christodoulides and Mavroyiannis advance to the run-off on Sunday, 12 February.

Nikos Christodoulides was a DISY party member but was expelled earlier this year after the unilateral announcement of his presidential bid.

Few Presidential elections in Europe are as critical as the one in Cyprus.

The political system of the southern European country operates similarly to the one in the US, with a dominant president who also represents the country in the European Council, commonly considered the most powerful EU institution.

Centre-right Nicos Anastasiades (DISY-EPP) currently holds the position but is not allowed to run in this February vote after serving two terms.

Polls suggest that Nikos Christodoulides, who is supported by DIKO (S&D Group in the EU Parliament), EDEK (S&D Group in the EU Parliament), KA (part of the informal EAFD euro party), and DIPA (part of the ALDE euro party), will win the second round with 58.3%, leaving 41.7% to Mavroyiannis.

However, all hope is not lost yet for the left-wing candidate as polls underestimated his first-round performance, which may mean his second-round performance is undervalued in polls too.

The other candidates performed poorly in the first round.

These include far-right ELAM President Christos Christou (6.0%), independent Cypriot refugee rights advocate Achilleas Demetriades (2.0%), Volt party candidate Constantinos Christofides (1.6%), and former DIKO party deputy chair George Colocassides (1.3%).

Other candidates received less than one per cent of the vote.

(Tobias Gerhard Schminke | EuropeElects)