Former Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulidis has won the presidential election in the small EU island republic of Cyprus. The 49-year-old conservative politician received 51.8 percent of the votes in the runoff. This was reported by the state broadcaster, citing the Ministry of the Interior.
The diplomat Andreas Mavrogiannis, supported by the Left Party AKEL, came up with 48.2 percent and admitted his defeat. The election was important because the president, elected directly by the people, appoints and leads the government.
Cost of living and corruption key campaign issues
For the approximately 500,000 voters in the EU country, the increased cost of living and the fight against corruption in the country probably also decided who they voted for in the runoff. Another important campaign issue was the high costs of irregular migration. According to its own statements, the Mediterranean island records the most asylum applications per year in the EU in relation to the population. According to this, six percent of the 915,000 inhabitants of the island are currently seeking protection.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, and there has been little movement in resolving the conflict for years. At that time, the Turkish army had occupied the north after a military coup by the Greek Cypriots. Turkey is the only country to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was proclaimed in 1983. The Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus joined the EU in 2004.