14/02/2023 - Results - 2nd round
Nikos Christodoulides, former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2018-2022) and former government spokesman (2013-2018), won the presidential election organised in Cyprus on 12 February by 51.97% of the votes in the second round. Former member of the Democratic Rally (DISY), supported by the Democratic Party (DIKO), the Movement for Social Democracy (EDEK), the Solidarity Movement (DIPA), he ran as an independent.
He defeated Andreas Mavroyiannis, who won 48.03% of the vote and who was also running as an independent but was supported by the Progressive Workers' Party (AKEL) and the left-wing party Generation Change.
The turnout was 72.45%, -0.40 points compared to the 1st round and -1.52 points compared to the 2nd round of the presidential election on 4 February 2018.
Results of the presidential elections of 5 and 12 February 2023 in Cyprus
Turnout: 72.05% (1st round) and 72.45% (2nd round)
Source : Electoral Commission
Those who voted for DISY, the party of which Nikos Christodoulides is a member, determined the presidential election. Some members had criticised Nikos Christodoulides for dividing the party by deciding to run for president on his own and presenting himself as an independent candidate while still a member of the party, for which he was expelled in January.
Nikos Christodoulides succeeded in positioning himself as a candidate capable of uniting Cypriots beyond party affiliations and bringing together his compatriots beyond ideological divides, which helped him to win the presidency without the support of either of the "big" parties.
AKEL suffered its third consecutive defeat in the presidential election. The party had chosen to support a candidate capable of rallying and uniting a large number of people on his name, beyond traditional party lines. But this strategy did not pay off.
"The three main issues of concern to voters are the cost of living and housing, immigration and the Cyprus problem" said Nikos Christodoulides during his election campaign. The Cyprus problem is a euphemistic way of referring to the island's division, which has been a reality since 20 July 1974, when Turkish troops landed in Kyrenia to protect the island's Turkish minority after a coup five days earlier that toppled the Cypriot president, Archbishop Makarios III, replacing him with Nicos Sampson. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey, declared its independence in 1983. 35,000 Turkish troops are still stationed in the northern part of the island. In total, the conflict has resulted in about 4,000 dead, 1,400 missing and tens of thousands displaced. While they had gathered momentum in 2016, negotiations over the reunification of the island between the Republic of Cyprus and the northern part of the island led by Mustafa Akinci, have been at a standstill since 6 July 2017, since the two sides failed to agree on the status of the Turkish forces present on the island (with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking out against the departure of the 35,000 troops). The Cypriots continue to support a reunification of the island in the form of a federal state while those in the northern part are in favour of the recognition of two independent and equal states, the island would thus be divided between a Turkish community and a Greek community.
It is now up to Nikos Christodoulides to find a way out of this impasse. The new president is considered as a "hardliner" on the division of Cyprus. He has declared that he wants to resume talks on the reunification of the island but within a new framework. Among other things, he would like to see the EU isolate Turkey.
Nikos Christodoulides is 49 years-old and comes from Geroskipou (southwest of the island). He graduated from Queens College and the universities of New York, Malta and Athens and taught at the University of Cyprus.
In 1999, he was appointed Consul General in London, then Deputy Head of Mission of the Cyprus Embassy in Athens and Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Cyprus to the European Union. In 2013, he became Director of the Diplomatic Office of the President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiades (DISY), and the following year, Government Spokesman. In 2018, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position from which he will resign in early 2022 in order to prepare his candidacy for the presidential election. He entered the campaign early, discreetly but well before his competitors. This proved to be a successful strategy as on 12 February, Nikos Christodoulides became the youngest head of state in Cyprus ever to take office.