Nationalists gain significant gains in Cyprus vote | Election News


The ruling Conservatives are winners, but do not get an absolute majority and voters turn to smaller parties.

The far-right ELAM party and a centrist split group have won big elections in the Cyprus parliamentary elections, as a sizable number of supporters appeared to have turned their backs on the first three parties amid voters’ disenchantment with the centers of power. traditional.

With 100% of the votes counted, ELAM obtained on Sunday 6.78% of the votes (3% more than the previous elections of 2016) to face the socialist party EDEK with a margin of about 200 votes.

The centrist DIPA, made up of key figures from the center-right DIKO party, which has traditionally been the third largest party, garnered 6.1% of the vote.

The center-right DISY emerged in first place with 27.77 percent of the vote, 5.4 percent more than the second, communist-rooted AKEL.

But the parties lost 2.9 and 3.3 percent of their support over the previous election.

“The result is not what we expected,” AKEL general secretary Andros Kyprianou said at a party rally. “We respect that and we will examine it carefully to draw conclusions, but now we can say that we have not been able to convince (our supporters).”

President of the Democratic Rally (DISY) Averof Neofytou voting in the capital of Nicosia [Christos Avraamides/PIO/AFP]

“Very big failure”

Analyst Christoforos Christoforou said the results indicate a “very big failure” on the part of DISY and AKEL to bring together more supporters convincing them of the benefits of their policies.

A last resort by DISY management limited the loss of votes from 5% to 3%.

Christoforou said the real winners were ELAM, with its strident anti-immigration platform and nationalist policies and DIPA, the highest levels of which still have connections to the centers of political power as former ministers and legislators.

He said the high electoral threshold of 3.6 per cent means that 15,000 voters who voted for smaller parties who did not get any seats would be left without a voice in parliament.

Opinion polls in the weeks leading up to the vote indicated that DISY and AKEL should bleed support, as disappointed voters are looking for alternatives among smaller parties.

The elections will not affect the functioning of the government in the division of the Mediterranean nation, as the executive power falls into the hands of the president, who is elected separately.

About 65.73% of nearly 558,000 eligible voters voted for the 56 Greek Cypriot seats in parliament. Voter turnout was 1 percent lower than in the previous poll.

Andros Kyprianou, general secretary of AKEL, voter [Andreas Andreou/PIO/AFP]

Key themes of the campaign included the country’s manipulation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected economic restart as the country increases vaccinations.

Migration has also been a problem, as the Cypriot government insists it has exceeded its limits and can no longer receive more migrants.

Smaller parties have called on voters to turn their backs on DISY, who said it was laden with a legacy of corruption.

An independent investigation into the now defunct investment program for the citizens of Cyprus found that the government illegally granted passports to thousands of relatives of wealthy investors, some with shady pasts.

An Al Jazeera research found that several senior Cypriot officials, politicians, lawyers and real estate developers were involved in the scheme that allowed criminals to buy a European passport through the Citizenship Investment Program.

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