Daily Archives: February 18, 2013

Archives February 18, 2013 posted by

A towering lead but not enough

 

DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades won yesterday’s presidential vote but failed to garner the required majority and will now face off against AKEL-backed Stavros Malas in a runoff vote next Sunday.

Anastasiades won 45.46 per cent – some five percentage points short of an outright majority — with second-place Malas gaining 26.91 per cent.

EDEK-backed Giorgos Lillikas ended a close third with 24.93 per cent.

The two opponents will be busy this week trying to forge alliances that will hand them victory.

They will also try to woo some of the 92,000 – or 16.86 per cent — eligible voters who chose to abstain yesterday.  

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Our View: Malas did well but winning is out of the question

IN THE END, there will be a run-off election on Sunday between DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades and AKEL candidate Stavros Malas who edged out Giorgos Lillikas by two percentage points. Anastasiades who took 45.4 per cent of the vote yesterday will be the clear favourite as he has a substantial lead over Malas and would need only a quarter of the Lillikas votes, which are now up for grabs, to reach the winning target of 50.1 per cent.

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Exit polls were way off the mark

CYPRIOTS have proved themselves unreliable respondents, bamboozling all the exit polls which yesterday projected an outright victory for Nicos Anastasiades.

All the pollsters were way off the mark, predicting that the DISY leader was on track to grab over 50 per cent of the popular vote, thus invalidating the need for a second round of voting.

They moreover underestimated the numbers for independent Giorgos Lillikas.

They did get it right when it came to forecasting that Lillikas would come in third, and also by awarding second spot to AKEL-backed Stavros Malas.

The exit polls were consistent in their error, yielding very similar projections for the three main contenders.

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Almost one fifth of voters abstain

ALMOST one-fifth of registered voters did not bother to visit a polling station yesterday, more or less confirming previous analyses.

Preliminary data on the final turnout put the total at 82.84 per cent, compared to 89.62 per cent in the last presidential elections in 2008.

The turnout during the 2011 parliamentary elections was 78.70 per cent.

In Nicosia, the turnout was 81.82 per cent, compared to 88.80 per cent in the 2008 elections. Limassol had an 83.24 per cent turnout, the Famagusta district 83.86 per cent, Larnaca 84.01 per cent and Paphos 84.00 per cent.

According to Chief Returning Officer Andreas Assiotis, the last ballot box was sealed at 6.10pm, paving the way for counting to begin.

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Jubilation turns to disappointment to hope at DISY offices

At DISY headquarters people burst into celebration yesterday when state broadcaster’s CyBC exit poll gave DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades a majority win, only to become disappointed when it later became obvious that despite his lead, Anastasiades would not avoid a run-off.

A little after 6pm when Anastasiades was given a 51.1 per cent share of the votes according to CyBC’s exit poll, DISY’s supporters started applauding and cheering. 

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Malas rallies support, woos Lillikas

AKEL-backed Stavros Malas, who has secured a place in next Sunday’s runoff ballot, sought to rally supporters last night by promising that ultimate triumph was still in their grasp.

“This battle shall be victorious,” 45-year-old Malas assured fans who flocked to his election HQ shortly after the final results were in.

“We know that we have the obligation to give our country a future and prospects in these critical times,” he added, reiterating a pledge to form a national coalition government if elected to the top office.

Malas seemed also to extend a hand to independent candidate Giorgos Lillikas, who may be out of the race but has assumed the role of kingmaker.

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From ‘Nasty’ to ‘Nice Nick’, Anastasiades closer to the throne

CONSERVATIVE chief Nicos Anastasiades’s first round victory in Cyprus’s presidential elections yesterday marks a stunning comeback for a veteran politician whose career was almost destroyed by a political gamble in 2004.

A sharp and rousing public speaker who pulls no punches, Anastasiades, 66, faces a runoff vote next week against leftist rival Stavros Malas.

But he is almost 20 points ahead, having clawed his way back into public acceptance after a debilitating defeat nine years ago, when he supported a United Nations blueprint to reunify the ethnically split island.

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ECB ‘needs someone they can talk to’

EUROPEAN Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen said yesterday he hoped a financial rescue agreement that would include privatisations with a new Cyprus government could be reached by the end of March.

He said the ECB was neutral about the outcome of the presidential election, where DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades took a commanding lead but failed to avoid a run-off next week.

“But we need someone we can talk to locally that we can negotiate an adjustment programme with,” Asmussen said. “To secure the debt sustainability, we’ll need to see, for example, extensive privatisations. The previous president rejected that.

“Now we’ll have to take a look and see if we can negotiate a programme by the end of March,” Asmussen said.

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Frail Clerides ‘came to vote for Nicos Anastasiades’

A FRAIL former president Glafcos Clerides was accompanied by Nicos Anastasiades to the Lycavitos School polling station in Nicosia.

“I came and voted,” he said. “I voted for Nicos Anastasiades.”

Asked if he felt touched by Clerides’ presence Anastasiades replied: “When your political father turns up to support you, it is only human to feel touched.” 

Describing Clerides as the founder of the party and moderniser of the Cyprus Republic, Anastasiades said it was “natural to feel emotional today, when despite his years he came to exercise his right to vote and strengthen our effort.”

He said Clerides had advised him to practise politics with a spirit of unity for the good of Cyprus.

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Rolling out the grandkids

ALL THOSE expecting the usual barrage of election-day clichιs were not disappointed yesterday as all candidates and party leaders made the obligatory post-voting statement in front of the cameras.

In a way, the clichιs are inevitable as campaigning is prohibited by law during voting hours so politicians have to restrict themselves, if they can, to praising the good work done by the election service staff and the mature behaviour of the voters. 

However, yesterday all the candidates engaged in some subtle election campaigning in front of the TV cameras after casting their vote. But there were still plenty of clichιs.

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