25/02/2013 - Results - 2nd round
The leader of the Democratic Assembly (DISY), Nicos Anastasiades, also supported by the Democratic Party (DIKO) was elected to the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus in the second round of voting on 24th February 2013. He won 57.48% of the vote ahead of former Healthcare Minister (2011-2012) Stavros Malas (Progressive Workers' Party, AKEL), who won 42.52% of the vote.
Turnout totalled 81.58% - 9.26 points less in comparison with the second round of voting in the previous election on 17th and 24th February 2008.
"I publicly congratulate Nicos Anastasiades. Now we need unity, but we shall be severely critical of anything that might damage the interests of the people or the country,
" declared the unfortunate candidate Stavros Malas on the announcement of the results. The former Healthcare Minister certainly suffered because of the unpopular outgoing government led by Demetris Christofias (AKEL).
Nicos Anastasiades, whose campaign slogan was "the crisis needs a leader", stood as the safest candidate and the only one to enjoy the confidence of the European leaders – as a result the most apt to face the crisis that is affecting Cyprus and to rescue the island's economy. He has promised to work towards a rapid agreement with the Troika (IMF, ECB and European Commission) in view of setting out a rescue plan which the island needs urgently since it is on the verge of bankruptcy.
"We intend to discuss and cooperate with our European partners to reach an agreement as quickly as possible regarding a rescue plan that will protect the most vulnerable, social cohesion and good relations between everyone in the working world,
" he declared adding "My priority is for Cyprus to recover its credibility. I am determined to work with our European partners and at the same time assume all of my responsibilities. I promise to introduce the necessary measures to bring the country out of the economic crisis.
" The country needs 17 billion € - which is not very much in euro zone terms but it is the equivalent of one year's GDP in Cyprus; 10 million € of this sum is needed for its banks.
Apart from his country's economic recovery Nicos Anastasiades also has to take the project to reunite Cyprus forward by reviving negotiations between the two parts of the island. He said that he wanted Nicosia to take part in NATO's peace partnership programme, which is a pre-condition to joining the international organisation. In February 2011 MPs from the Democratic Assembly, of the Democratic Party, and the European Party (EVROKO), a far right party led by Demetris Sillouris, approved a resolution that took the country in this direction, but the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias vetoed it.
Nicos Anastasiades believes that Cyprus's membership of NATO would boost negotiations for the island's reunification. The new head of State is also in favour of the EU's involvement that of Turkey in these negotiations. In his opinion Ankara would then have to assume its responsibilities and contribute to finding a solution.
Aged 66 and originally from Pera Pedi (South) Nicos Anastasiades is a law graduate. An MP since 1981; in 1997 he took over the leadership of the Democratic Assembly of which he was a founder member. In 2004 he supported the Annan Plan (named after the then UN Secretary General) which suggested the creation of a United Republic of Cyprus in the shape of a confederation comprising two largely autonomous states based on the Helvetic Confederation model. On 24th April 2004 the Cypriots rejected the plan by 75.83% (64.9% of the inhabitants in the Northern part of the island accepted it).
Nicos Anastasiades has modified his position just to obtain the support of the Democratic Party which is firmly against the Annan Plan and with whom he is due to form a government coalition.
Nicos Anastasiades will officially take over from Demetris Christofias as head of Cyprus on March 1st next.