Cyprus president re-elected for second term

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 5, 2018
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Cypriot incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades (C) waves to supporters after being re-elected in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Feb. 4, 2018. (Xinhua/Christos Theodorides)

Cyprus's incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades comfortably won a second term in a runoff election on Sunday against leftist presidential candidate Stavros Malas, according to election results.

With all ballot papers counted, the electoral service said that Anastasiades garnered 55.99 percent of the vote, with Malas trailing with 44.01 percent.

A presidential palace source said that Malas has called Anastasiades to congratulate him on his re-election.

Sundays' runoff was a repeat of the 2013 runoff in which Anastasiades was elected against Malas.

The electoral service said that 26.03 percent of eligible voters stayed away from polling stations, slightly lower than the first round abstention ratio of 28.13 percent.

Anastasiades cruised to victory on the economic record of his government which turned a ruined economy in 2013 into a dynamic and flourishing one in five years.

Cyprus exited a bailout program from the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund in 2016 and has achieved a growth rate of over 4 percent last year, one of the highest in European Union

Anastasiades also promised voters he will seek an early resumption of his stalled negotiations with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for the reunification of Cyprus.

Anastasiades, aged 71, is representing Greek Cypriots in the negotiations which collapsed in Switzerland last July, over differences relating to the future of Turkish troops in Cyprus and intervention rights in the eastern Mediterranean island.

Cyprus was partitioned after a Turkish military action in 1974 prompted by a short lived organized by the military rulers of Greece at the time.

United Nations troops forming one of the longest serving peace keeping forces control a buffer zone dividing Greek Cypriots in the south from Turkish Cypriots and Turkish troops in the north.

The divided island became a member of the European Union in 2004 and joined the hard-core inner euro zone group.

Messages of congratulation by EU officials started coming in after official results were announced.

As soon as official results became final, Anastasiades went to his electoral office where he addressed election workers and thousands of his supporters who gathered in the street outside.

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